Saturday, April 13, 2024
Home > Opinion > It’s Time To Move Brock Stewart Into The Bullpen (Where He Shines) Permanently

It’s Time To Move Brock Stewart Into The Bullpen (Where He Shines) Permanently

Brock Stewart

The Dodgers certainly have room to experiment over these last several weeks of the regular season. The boys in blue have the best record in baseball (89-35) and are on pace to break the all-time franchise record for wins and possibly the all-time MLB record. They have a 21.5 game lead in the NL West and are well ahead of the next best Houston Astros for home field advantage in the World Series.

With the Dodgers having such a big lead they’re able to do things that normally most clubs in a tight pennant race coming down the stretch wouldn’t be able to do. As Oscar Said a few weeks ago, the Dodgers are going to be experimenting with the lineups and auditioning players for the postseason. Some players are a lock of course, and others will be battling for a spot on the playoff roster.

With that being said there is one experiment that should absolutely end. That’s the Brock Stewart as a starting pitcher experiment. I’m sorry but it’s just not working out for young Brock. However there is good news for him. He’s been excellent in a different capacity and there is room for him outside of the starting rotation, and that’s in the bullpen.

Stewart has been a spot starter for the Dodgers since last season and well let’s be honest here; he’s been a terrible starting pitcher. I know it’s been somewhat of a small sample size, but the fact remains; Brock Stewart is just not a starting pitcher and the numbers back this up. What he has done well is pitch excellently as a reliever.

He’s appeared in 17 games for the Dodgers since 2016 and started 8 of them. He’s made three of those starts in 2017. If you don’t believe me then just check out the numbers for yourself.

Brock Stewart

As a starter-  6.42 ERA-.302/.374/.518 (42 for 139) 9 HR 28K/16BB .892 OPS

As a reliever – 1.47 ERA .177/.271/.242 (11 for 62) 1 HR 14K/7BB .513 OPS

Those numbers don’t lie. Stewart has been heads and tails better as a reliever then as a starter. You may think that he’s had some poor batted ball luck (.324 BABIP as a starter, .213 BABIP as a reliever) but if you’ve watched his starts you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Stewart has yet to pitch more than four innings in a start this year and never has pitched beyond the fifth inning in his career. In his last start on Tuesday evening against the Pirates in Pittsburgh he was unable to get out of the third inning. He allowed five earned runs on four hits with four walks over two frames.

Every starts is the same with him. He’s generally unable to pitch out of the third or fourth inning and breaks down by allowing a boatload of runs. He’s yet to make any adjustments and every time he makes a start he looks exactly the same. The results are the same as well. I.E., they’re not good. He just doesn’t look comfortable starting.

The good thing is that young Brock has pitched very well out of the bullpen. Of his seven relief appearances this season six of those have been multiple scoreless innings. As a matter of fact, he’s allowed just two earned runs as a reliever this year.

The Dodgers seem to agree as they announced that they optioned Stewart back to Oklahoma City and recalled catcher Kyle Farmer. With rosters set to expand on September 1, there is no doubt we’ll see Stewart back with the big club.

In the meantime it’s ok to admit that either Stewart is not a starting pitcher, or he’s got a tremendous amount of work to do become a solid major league starting pitcher. It’s not a knock on Brock. There’s not much room in the rotation for him anyways with Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, Rich Hill, and Alex Wood entrenched in the top four spots.

Some pitchers are just not meant to be starters, just as some are not meant to be relievers. Perhaps it’s a routine problem for Brock? Pitchers can be creatures of habit and it’s hard for a pitcher to go from reliever to starter and vice versa. I think the Dodgers should do the prudent thing and use Brock where he excels most, and that’s in the bullpen. There’s certainly room for a big strong right handed middle reliever with a heavy four-seamer. And you know what, there’s no shame in that at all.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

11 thoughts on “It’s Time To Move Brock Stewart Into The Bullpen (Where He Shines) Permanently

  1. Well, Roberts said Stewart was suffering from a cold yesterday but its more likely suffering from a case of suck not sick. I agree he should be in the pen for the rest of the year, and during the offseason he needs to train and get better and wow us in spring training like what Alex Wood did this year.

    Back to this game. Watching Hill try to bunt is suspenseful. I keep thinking does he know to bunt with the barrel of the bat not with his hands. Everyone in the audience is an injury risk (from ulcer) when he’s trying to bunt.

  2. Keibert Ruiz is our minor league player of the year. I was among the very first to notice and hype him on the Dodger blogosphere, after noticing his age from a minor league update at ThinkBlue and TrueBlue at the beginning of the year. I’m not tooting my own horn I’m just running this ahead of the FAZophiles, before they pretend that they knew about Ruiz all along.
    And for the record, again, Scott and Oscar here were hyping Taylor way before anyone else, during and after Spring Training (and bashing SVS and Kike).

    And back to the game … looks like a low scoring late August grind of a game today. Corey may have to win this game by himself ….

  3. Why would any thinking baseball fan doing anything on a permanent basis with a young above-average player?

    Scott, if they stretch Brock out properly he could go seven innings. He could be your workhorse!

    The Rich Hill we see through 5 is the most enjoyable (to me) pitcher to watch in the majors. Just a blast.
    Around and stuff:

    In a recent FanGraphs chat the great Longenhagen had the following to say:
    Buehler seems most likely and I think he’d be an asset to LA’s playoff roster if they really want to be aggressive but they’re the season’s dominant club and may not feel a need to push Buehler’s innings when the righties in the big league bullpen are pitching well.

    Diaz made adjustments and hit well in the Cal League after frustrating scouts (albeit as a 19-year old) last year and is now having early success at Double-A. Seeing players make adjustments is huge for scouts because they have to do it constantly at the big league level. Diaz is still raw in some respects but is a good bet to be an everyday big league outfielder.

    Heredia is kind of a freak. He’s a husky kid but can really run and has plus-plus bat speed. It isn’t always pretty right now but he was just too physical for the Pioneer League and I thought it was good they got him out of there. I expect him to struggle a bit at Great Lakes but think he’ll be fine.

    Dodgers 5th-rounder Riley Ottesen struck out eight in four innings on 50 pitches in his debut for the Loons. 0BB/3H allowed. low-80s curveball. FB sitting low-90s. Was able to command both today in his 3rd start in the Midwest League.

    Willie Calhoun still playing left for the Rangers, 1-3, HR.

    1. Well Bluto that’s what bloggers do. Alex Wood have been proclaimed to be long relief for years, not just here but everywhere. Did that have an effect on him started out in long relief despite him coming out of spring training like a freight train and questions all over Ryu, McCarthy and Kazmir? I think it definitely did, but the player can prove the FO, the coaches and the scouts all wrong.

      And part of the fun is to tag someone with suck and see them coming out of it. Crow leaves a good aftertaste if it’s for players on your team.

  4. Well, you don’t see that everyday.

    Great game. And a great effort by Hill. Also, Granderson with an all out crash into the wall trying to catch that home run. One for the ages.

    1. Grandy missed it by this much ( ). Could have used Cody’s bat in this one, and Turner’s too.

  5. You have got to feel for Rich Hill. He pitched his ass off and lost. Kudos. The best performance of his Dodger career. Bats were asleep.

    1. Stuff happens.

      I’ve checked my feelings meter….. nope, don’t feel bad for Rich Hill. I guess I’m just a heartless bastard. Truth is, Rich Hill doesn’t give a rat’s ass about me and he made about $100,000 tonight. And he will make another $100,000 tomorrow and the day after that and every day from now until the first week of October, and again every day the Dodgers have a game from now until 2020, whether he pitches or not. Hard for me to feel sorry for him.

  6. Offense had the same funk they had in game one. They left a lot of runners on base and hit into too many DP’s. It should have never gone to the 10th. But give the Pirate pitcher credit. He got the ground outs when he needed them and the only Dodger really hitting him did not do so when it counted the most. Sure Corey would have given up one of those hits to have one with men in scoring position.

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