The concern when Tyler Rogers was finally called up to the big leagues was that the novelty of his submarine delivery would wear off at some point, that hitters would adjust after seeing him a time or two and tee off. That hasn't at all been the case.
In his third big league season, Rogers has reached double-digits in appearances against every NL West opponent. He has faced no team more than the Arizona Diamondbacks and has a 0.82 ERA in 12 appearances. The ERA is 1.86 in 10 appearances against the Colorado Rockies, and while the overall numbers against the San Diego Padres aren't good, five of the seven runs he's allowed to them came in one nightmare inning last year. Rogers has faced the Padres five times this season and allowed one run.
But then there are the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After Wednesday night's blown save, Rogers has allowed six runs to the rival in two appearances this season at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers scored seven runs while seeing him six times last year, and overall Rogers has allowed 13 runs in 10 1/3 innings against them.
Rogers has pitched well enough this year that he got All-Star consideration in the first half, but the Dodgers currently have his number. Manager Gabe Kapler said he would have a conversation with Rogers about it, but not the one you might think. Kapler acknowledged that sometimes a team is a bad matchup for a player, but he said he wants to talk to Rogers just to see what his mindset is and how the Giants can help him turn this around.
Kapler has no intention of hiding Rogers from the Dodgers, saying Wednesday that he has been the Giants' best reliever this year. After Tuesday's loss, Kapler passionately insisted that he couldn't wait to get Rogers back on the mound.
"The conversion I'm thinking about is, 'What have you experienced on the mound at Dodger Stadium? What have you experienced on the mound when we've played the Dodgers at Oracle Park? What's it been like for you to travel to San Diego and pitch there?'" Kapler said before Wednesday's game. "You just get a feel for if there's anything there that's worth talking about, because this is player development, right? It's not just 'throw a guy out there,' it's 'how can we help you be at your best?' The conversation is not necessarily to make the best decision, although it's helpful. It's probably to help him."
If the Giants need to hold another lead Wednesday night, there's a very good chance that Rogers is part of trying to protect it. Will Smith walked him off Tuesday and Albert Pujols nearly did earlier this season, but the Giants still have plenty of faith in their durable right-hander, and Kapler said he's eager to see how Rogers adjusts.
"In the same way the best hitters are going to make adjustments to pitchers, the best pitchers are going to make adjustments to hitters," he said. "Some of the best hitters who have had some success so far against Tyler Rogers, I would say, are you ready for Tyler to adjust to you? He's going to be making adjustments, too."