With the regular season drawing to a close, the Los Angeles Dodgers are gearing up for the postseason with the potential addition of key players to their bullpen. Manager Dave Roberts is optimistic about the imminent return of two late-inning options, right-handed pitchers Joe Kelly and Michael Grove, who have been sidelined due to injuries.
Joe Kelly, a fireballer who joined the Dodgers in a trade with the White Sox at the deadline alongside Lance Lynn, has been recovering from an elbow issue that has kept him out of action since August 13. Encouragingly, he has been participating in bullpen sessions, signaling his readiness to contribute in high-leverage situations.
Michael Grove, on the other hand, has been dealing with lat tightness, sidelining him since August 5. However, he is on the verge of making his comeback to Chavez Ravine, albeit in a different role. While Grove was primarily utilized as a starter earlier in the season due to multiple injuries within the Dodgers’ rotation, he is now poised to transition into a bullpen role, with the potential for significant innings during the postseason, contingent on his performance.
As the Dodgers face various pitching uncertainties on their path to a championship, Joe Kelly and Michael Grove are set to play pivotal roles during the postseason. Traditionally employed as relievers, Manager Dave Roberts may explore the possibility of using them as openers in select playoff games, given the uncertainties surrounding the starting rotation.
This strategy isn’t without precedent, as both Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May have successfully transitioned from starters to long relievers in past postseasons, mirroring the path taken by Julio Urias in 2020. With the Dodgers looking to maximize their pitching resources, the roles of Kelly and Grove may undergo adjustments if they perform well in the final weeks of the regular season.
As the regular season winds down, the Dodgers are eagerly anticipating the return of Joe Kelly and Michael Grove, two valuable arms that could make a significant impact on their postseason run. Dave Roberts remains flexible in his approach, prepared to adapt to the ever-evolving needs of the team as they strive for championship glory.
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