Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
With plenty of roster shuffling throughout the season thus far, Justin Bruihl has been among the several members used out of a the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen that’s worked to generate some consistency.
However, Bruihl has shuttled between the Triple-A Oklahoma City and the Dodgers roster due in large part to having Minor League options remaining. Such was the case again on Saturday, when Bruihl was sent to OKC as the corresponding move to Julio Urías getting activated off the 15-day injured list.
“Can’t say enough about him, how he’s handled the elevator and not let it affect performance,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said about the lefty reliever.
“I think there’s life to the ball now, there’s a confidence there, there’s an edginess. We’re lucky to have him. Very lucky to have him.”
Bruihl has a slightly different approach in his pitch usage this year. Utilizing his slider at a much higher clip, and reducing the number of cutters thrown by half.
The change in sequencing hasn’t gone as planned, and Bruihl is allowing a 45% hard-hit rate. However, his availability to the Dodgers bullpen is important as they continue to find roles for fellow lefties Caleb Ferguson and Victor González.
Roberts has also shown a fair amount of confidence in Bruihl, using him in outings on consecutive days five different times this season, including one stretch of having him pitch three consecutive games.
What’s next for Justin Bruihl?
Bruihl’s standing as a soft-tossing lefty that relies on precise location and glove-side dominant pitching, he isn’t in contention for a huge role in the Dodgers bullpen.
Furthermore, Bruihl can only be optioned back to the Minors once more this season as the limit under the collective bargaining agreement is five per year.
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