Dodgers option Sadler to make room for Ryu

Decision 'strictly a numbers issue' as club looks ahead to postseason

August 11th, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- To make room for the activation of Sunday starting pitcher , the Dodgers optioned reliever and his 0.73 ERA.


“It was strictly a numbers issue. It certainly wasn’t performance,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We couldn’t be more pleased with what Casey has done and given us. He’s an optionable player, and we want to get a look at some other guys.”

That’s code for summer training camp, as the Dodgers have a division lead so humongous they have turned the final one-third of the regular season into a lab experiment for formulating a postseason roster to get over their 30-year World Series title drought.

Getting a look “at some other guys” probably means the Dodgers know what they have with Sadler but aren’t as sure with other right-handed relievers like and . Roberts has already said rookies Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin are in the conversation for postseason roles.

Roberts said that might require him to manage differently, which probably explains why lately he’s been warming up a right-hander and left-hander simultaneously. Earlier in the season, Roberts almost exclusively warmed up one at a time, and that reliever almost always came into the game.

“I think certain guys we feel should have success against a particular hitter, and [we want to] see how these guys respond to get a guy out or go potentially four outs; what you would do in a postseason situation,” Roberts said. “Each day you’re going to see more of that from our 'pen. The optimal, perfect matchup isn’t always possible, but the guys we have, we can put in optimal spots.”

Roberts is optimistic that increased usage of , even if that means more non-save situations, will sharpen the closer’s performance. , no longer being used in multi-innings outings, and are being used in set-up roles.

From the left side, has been effective since arriving at the Trade Deadline. The club remains committed to despite his recent inconsistency, and has been on the shuttle from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Then there is injured swingman , who has resumed playing catch after recurring neck issues. Roberts said Stripling factors into the equation if he’s healthy.

“He’s crucial,” Roberts said. “The ability to get left and right out, to execute pitchers and also the ability to go multiple innings. To have him healthy and feeling great going into the postseason is very important.”