The Mediocrity of The Dodger Bullpen

Remember when the brain trust was supposed to improve the bullpen? We grimaced all throughout most of the 2014 season as the non Kenley Jansen crew blew lead after lead within the blink of an eye on a daily basis. Our hopes were raised when the relief crew got off to a hot start. They were one of the best in the majors during the first month of the season. Since then it’s been a myriad of mediocrity, blown leads, and a trail of tears.

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The bullpen has been primarily comprised of random journeyman and minor league rookies. It’s been a patchwork of no names, has-beens, and never was’. Guys like Daniel Coulombe, Josh Ravin, Matt West, Joel Peralta, Chris Hatcher, and Ian Thomas have no business pitching on a first place club’s roster. Reliable set-up man J.P. Howell struggled in the early weeks, and Paco Rodriguez and Pedro Baez got injured.

The scary truth that nobody wants to admit because of their love for the brain trust and dislike for Ned Colletti is that the new front office built just as crappy of a bullpen as Colletti did in 2014. The bullpen this year is no better and no worse than it was last year. It’s about the same.

Don’t believe me? The results speak for themselves.

2014 Dodger Bullpen – 18-24 3.80- 47 for 61 in saves .239 BAA- 1.31 WHIP 464 SO, 206 BB 207 ER 38 HR

2015 Dodger Bullpen – 21-17 3.70– 24 for 37 in saves .235 BAA – 1.24 WHIP 293 SO 93 BB 106 ER 24 HR

Through first 90 games

2014 Dodger Bullpen – 7-16 3.74 30 for 37 in saves .233 BAA- 1.33 WHIP 275 SO 129 BB 117 ER 18 HR

2015 Dodger Bullpen – 21-17 3.70– 24 for 37 in saves .235 BAA – 1.24 WHIP 293 SO 93 BB 106 ER 24 HR

Overall this year’s squad has had better control, issuing less walks. However the numbers are very similar if not almost the same as the 2014 season. Same BAA, same WHIP, same ERA, same earned runs and hits allowed, and this year’s bullpen has allowed more home runs. 

This is not to point out anything negative towards the new front office, or try to point out that Colletti is better than Friedman. It’s to point out that the Dodger bullpen is still not good enough to win in October. Between Yimi Garcia’s decline, the injuries to Paco and Baez, The Chris Hatcher disaster, and a carousel of bums has caused the Dodgers to slip to 19th in the Majors in reliever ERA. It hasn’t been pretty.

I know what you’re going to say to me. The bullpen of 2014 was more expensive. This year’s bullpen hasn’t cost the Dodgers anything. We’re seeing cheap cost controlled bums. To me that sounds like a poor excuse to justify bums. I don’t tolerate bums of any kind on my roster. Just because a bum is cheap, doesn’t mean he belongs in a first place club’s bullpen. I want a bullpen free of bums. I want a bullpen free of mediocrity. I have a dream that one day all Dodger relievers regardless of cost, or background, or personality will not blow leads or give up homers to minor league hitters. Please don’t squash my dream.

The club needs to find two reliable middle relievers to get the ball to closer Kenley Jansen. Hopefully the brain trust can dupe a couple of non-contenders into parting with one or two of their good relievers. I’ve heard Alberto Callaspo is super available!