2023 Los Angeles Dodgers Player Reviews: Gus Varland

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Gus Varland was among the players the Los Angeles Dodgers lost in the Rule 5 Draft months prior to the start of the 2023 season, and he began the year on the Milwaukee Brewers’ Opening Day roster.

That provided Varland with an opportunity to make his MLB debut, but by late May, he was back with the Dodgers organization. The Brewers offered Varland to the Dodgers after he was designated for assignment and cleared waivers.

By rule, players taken in the Rule 5 Draft must remain on the roster for the ensuing season. In order to be removed from the 26-man roster, the player must be placed on outright waivers.

If the player clears waivers, they have to be offered back to his previous team, and they can only be sent to the Minor Leagues if the original club does not wish to re-acquire him.

Varland struggled to the tune of an 11.42 ERA, 9.52 FIP and 2.65 WHIP in 8.2 innings pitched across eight games for the Brewers. Command was an issue as he had more walks (eight) than strikeouts (six).

Varland was assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he remained until getting called up by the Dodgers in August. The right-hander appeared in eight games before a knee injury ended his season early.

While with the Dodgers, Varland went 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. He 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA across 30 games (one start) for Oklahoma City.

The Dodgers placed Varland on the 15-day IL on September 10 due to right knee inflammation. He was transferred to the 60-day IL two days later.

Gus Varland 2023 highlight

Varland making his MLB debut certainly was a memorable moment from the 2023 season, but so too was his first game for the Dodgers.

That coincidentally came on August 16 against his former Brewers teammates, and Varland got the better of the matchup by pitching two scoreless innings in the Dodgers’ 7-1 win.

2024 outlook

Varland remains under team control with the Dodgers as a player with less than three years of service time. He figures to begin the 2024 season with Oklahoma City and be among the candidates the Dodgers will consider if or when needing to add a fresh arm to their bullpen.

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