The Dodgers’ 2023 season, plagued by injuries to key pitchers like Dustin May, Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, Shelby Miller, and Joe Kelly, faced uncertainty and challenges. In the midst of this adversity, a shining beacon emerged – Ryan Brasier. Released by the Red Sox in May, Brasier found a new home with the Dodgers in June, and since then, he has been rewriting the narrative of the Dodgers’ season.
When Brasier joined the Dodgers, his performance underwent a remarkable transformation. Starting his 2023 campaign with the Red Sox, he struggled, posting a discouraging 7.29 ERA in 21 innings of work. However, the change of scenery revitalized his career.
Initially, the Dodgers placed Brasier in low-leverage situations, allowing him to showcase his newly acquired cutter, a pitch they believed would be instrumental. Gradually, he earned higher-leverage appearances, and today, he routinely faces the heart of the opposition’s order with confidence. His pitching prowess with the Dodgers has reached astonishing heights, as he currently boasts a 0.81 ERA in 33.1 innings pitched.
Impressively, the 36-year-old veteran has not surrendered an earned run since August 6th, a testament to his exceptional consistency and reliability.
So, what transformed Ryan Brasier into this baseball sensation? The Dodgers introduced a sharp cutter into his arsenal, a pitch that maintains its velocity compared to fastballs but possesses enough movement to elude hitters’ barrels and bats. Additionally, adjustments to Brasier’s sinker, which now features a -2.5 inches drop compared to -1.6 inches in 2022, have been instrumental in his success.
“Ever since we got him he’s really kind of embraced being here and found his comfort zone and understands his value and his usage,” said manager Dave Roberts. “And right there he goes through the teeth of that lineup with three punchouts was pretty impressive.”
These alterations have turned Brasier into a middle-relief juggernaut, reminiscent of Evan Phillips’s performance last year. As the Dodgers gear up for an extended postseason run, they rely on Brasier to shut down the side in the 7th or 8th innings when a seamless 1-2-3 inning is needed to secure victory.
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