This might be small consolation if you are a Dodgers fan, but Andrew Friedman insists he takes the excruciating defeats just as hard as you do. And then he turns the proverbial page, much as he and his manager want their players to do.
“I don’t lose well,” he said. “I don’t think my family really enjoys being around me. In that moment, and for 15 minutes after, I’m a wreck. Then I fight hard to look forward and think ahead to things that are constructive and productive.”
Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, has come under fan scrutiny as the Dodgers’ bullpen has imploded, not long after the team failed to acquire an impact reliever at the July 31 trade deadline.
In the first five games since the Dodgers put closer Kenley Jansen on the disabled list, the bullpen has lost four games — three in the opponents’ final at-bat — and blown a lead in the other game.
“I think this five-day stretch was going to be the most depleted our bullpen was going to be all year,” Friedman said.
The reinforcements start this week: starters Ross Stripling and Kenta Maeda moved to the bullpen, and Erik Goeddel activated. More are on the way: Daniel Hudson threw a simulated game Tuesday, Josh Fields and Julio Urias are on minor league rehabilitation assignments, and Tony Cingrani could join them soon. Left-hander Manuel Banuelos has been moved to the bullpen at triple-A Oklahoma City and could get a look in September.
Jansen should be back by then, and the Dodgers have two other reliable relievers in left-handers Scott Alexander and Caleb Ferguson. The current bullpen also includes Pedro Baez, J.T. Chargois, Dylan Floro and Zac Rosscup, with John Axford on the disabled list.
“With the guys we have coming back in the ‘pen, and what we expected to be some spillover from our starting rotation, as we looked ahead to August, September and hopefully October, we had a high bar for what we were looking to acquire,” Friedman said.
“As it became clear that, in that limited universe of players, nothing was going to line up, we made our offense even stronger, which does relieve some pressure late in games, if you’re able to tack on runs. The last 10 games, that hasn’t played out, but I’ll bet on the experience and track records of the guys in our offense.”
The Dodgers did trade for infielders Manny Machado and Brian Dozier. They scored 21 runs Aug. 2, but they have scored a total of 29 runs in the 10 games since then.
The Dodgers bullpen is tied for second in the National League in blown save opportunities. Its earned-run average this month: 7.15.
“I really do believe it will be a strength for us,” Friedman said, “as we start getting guys back and clicking on all cylinders, as we head into September and hopefully into October.”
Dozier’s dizziness is linked to medication
Dozier was back in the Dodgers’ lineup, with cardiologists clearing him after a round of heart tests triggered by what the second baseman said was his use of an allergy medication.
After he had sinus discomfort in Denver last weekend, Dozier took a dose of Zyrtec before Monday’s game. He never had used it and he experienced dizziness, which is listed as one of the possible side effects.
Dozier left the game and abnormalities in an electrocardiogram administered Monday night resulted in an appointment for heart tests Tuesday morning, including a treadmill stress test.
“When you’re talking about the ticker, you want to make sure everything’s OK,” Dozier said.
It was. He said he had an irregular heartbeat episode before and was so unconcerned Tuesday that his wife went shopping while he completed the tests.
He said he did not plan to use Zyrtec again. On the other hand, he said: “At least it cleared out my sinuses.”