In a stunning under-the-radar move during the MLB trade deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers secured Ryan Yarbrough from the Kansas City Royals. Yarbrough’s addition to the Dodgers’ roster has proven to be a game-changer, providing crucial depth to Dave Roberts’ pitching staff. Since his debut in July, Yarbrough’s versatility has emerged as a significant asset for the team, serving as both a spot starter and a long reliever.
“I can’t stress enough how great he’s been for us,” Roberts shared with MLB.com, acknowledging Yarbrough’s instrumental role within the team. His impact has been felt in various game situations, showcasing his reliability and adaptability on the field. In just 10 games, Yarbrough boasts an impressive 3.12 ERA across 34.2 innings pitched since joining the Dodgers’ ranks.
The trade that brought Yarbrough to Los Angeles involved sending him to the Dodgers in exchange for two minor-league players, neither of whom has yet reached the major leagues. This strategic move by the Dodgers has proven its worth, especially when considering Yarbrough’s performance during his time with the Royals, where he struggled with an ERA exceeding four.
Yarbrough’s contributions to the Dodgers’ bullpen extend beyond his roles as a starter and long reliever. He has also displayed his ability to close out games effectively, accumulating two saves during his tenure with the team. As the Dodgers gear up for the playoffs, having such a versatile asset in the bullpen becomes increasingly crucial.
While the Dodgers already possess pitchers with playoff experience in their bullpen, Yarbrough stands out as one of the most seasoned players in relief situations. His initial two years in the league were marked by playoff appearances with the Tampa Bay Rays. These journeys included an elimination by the Astros in 2019 and a loss to the Dodgers in the World Series.
“I think the great thing is that you can always shorten him. If it’s a longer run or a shorter run, we believe he can do that. We think that the versatility of Yarbs is the thing that’s most valuable. He’s a guy that I think can handle (different roles). He’s seasoned. He’s done it a lot. So he’s a guy that certainly we feel like we can use in different roles.”
In his 11 postseason outings, Yarbrough has allowed just six earned runs over 17.2 innings pitched, showcasing his ability to perform under high-pressure situations. As this year’s playoffs approach, Yarbrough is determined to build on these numbers and make an even more significant impact on the team’s postseason journey.
Unlike previous Dodgers lineups, Dave Roberts now possesses a versatile pitcher in Yarbrough who can be confidently inserted into any game situation. Yarbrough’s addition to the roster has significantly enhanced the Dodgers’ bullpen, making them a formidable force as they head into the playoffs.