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Searching for relief in the Dodgers' bullpen

April 13, 2010 |  1:02 pm

Sherrill_400 In the making it up as they go along department: The early struggles of the bullpen apparently mean relief roles are currently somewhat ambiguous.

The eighth inning had been the domain of George Sherrill, but he’s continued his spring struggles the first week of the season. Pretty sure that’s what a 22.50 ERA would qualify as.

Manager Joe Torre said he could easily see using Sherrill earlier in games, particularly while he’s less than at his finest.

"Depending on the match up, I wouldn't hesitate to use Sherrill in the seventh," Torre said. "It may be more likely to happen while he's still finding himself.’’

Sherrill is currently the only left-hander in the bullpen.

Torre also said he wouldn’t hesitate to use Jeff Weaver in the eighth. Weaver already appeared in five of the Dodgers’ first six games, but has thrown only three innings.

With starters struggling to pitch deep into games, the bullpen was busy early the first week of the season. Troubling first week stat: The team ERA is 5.23.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: George Sherrill is removed from the game after giving up a three-run home run to Pittsburgh Pirates' Ryan Doumit in last Monday's season opener. Credit: Keith Srakocic / Associated Press. 

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