For the first time in five years, the Los Angeles Dodgers have fallen to third place in the National League (NL) West. We’re not even halfway through the regular season yet, so the standings don’t mean much, but it’s a shocker because it’s the Dodgers. Moreover, the team has never struggled this badly under President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, 47, since 2015.

Friedman is also feeling the pinch. On the 20th of this month, the U.S. ‘The Athletic’ reported that the Dodgers have lost 17 of their last 28 games, the worst in the last five years and the worst since Friedman took over as president of baseball operations.

“I know nothing looks good when you’re in a slump, and I share that sentiment,” Friedman said, “but I believe this team is capable of so much more. I believe in our roster and our talent. It’s up to us to prove it and show it going forward.”토토사이트

At the same time, he was baffled by the struggles on the mound. The Dodgers have dropped to 25th in team ERA (4.66). The traditionally pitching-heavy Dodgers hadn’t ranked lower than fifth in eight years under Friedman, going 5-5-2-2-1-1-1-1-1 from 2015 to last year.

Suddenly, a team that boasted an ironclad mound for four straight years has plummeted to No. 25. Even Friedman, who was hailed as a “genius manager” for turning the perennial underdog Tampa Bay Rays into a low-cost, high-impact powerhouse, said, “It’s very unusual that we’re not pitching well. In many ways, it’s something we haven’t had before.”

Clayton Kershaw was the only pitcher to go the distance, as the starting rotation was decimated by strains. Walker Buehler is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and after opening day, Dustin May (elbow), Julio Urias (hamstring), Tony Gonsoli (ankle), and Noah Syndergaard (finger) have been sidelined with injuries. Rookie sensation Bobby Miller has been a surprise, but fellow rookie Gavin Stone was sent down to the minors after three games.

[Photo] Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

[Photo] Yancy Almonte of the Los Angeles Dodgers. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

The bullpen is among the worst in the league, ranking 29th in ERA (5.04). Evin Phillips (2.28), Bruce DeGraterol (2.40), and Shelby Miller (2.40) have struggled with sub-2 ERAs, but the rest of the bullpen is unreliable. To make matters worse, manager Dave Roberts’ bullpen, which is notorious for its poor timing of pitching changes, is also struggling.

“The starters are not pitching long enough, which puts a lot of pressure on the bullpen,” Friedman said. When the starters stabilize, the bullpen will stabilize,” Friedman said, adding that he expects the injured starters to return. The return of injured players, including closer Daniel Hudson, who is rehabbing from knee surgery, should stabilize the bullpen.

However, they need to be prepared for another injury twist. Being active in the trade market is a must. “Going into spring training, we didn’t anticipate being so aggressive in July to add pitching,” Friedman said. “There’s no question we’re more likely to add pitching in July than we were in March,” Friedman said, adding that injuries and the current situation have changed the focus.

With about six weeks to go until the trade deadline at the end of July, the most likely pitchers to hit the market are Lucas Giolito (Chicago White Sox), Jordan Montgomery and Zach Flaherty (St. Louis Cardinals), Marcus Stroman (Chicago Cubs), Eduardo Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers), and Aroldis Chapman (Kansas City Royals) and Brad Hand (Colorado Rockies).

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