What Should the Dodgers’ Bullpen Look Like?
By Alex Campos
Aug 7, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Jim Johnson (54) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 5-4 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
7. Jim Johnson- (with ATL & LA) 1.413 WHIP, 9.8 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 3.0 BB/9, 6.2 K/9
I can hear the gasps from here. I’m not ready to burn Johnson at the stakes just yet. In 48 innings with the Braves, Johnson gave up 12 runs :). In three innings with the Dodgers, Johnson has given up 12 runs :(. He’s definitely at the end of my bullpen, but he’s another great groundball pitcher that when used correctly, could have value. His .692 BABIP as a Dodger is going to come crashing down, and he had a very successful inning in game one against the Pirates, but Mattingly kept him in three batters too long and it all unravelled. In my perfect bullpen, he’s definitely a mop-up guy for the time being and could probably move up to be an actual useful reliever. It’s too early to write him all the way off though.
It was a close battle between Johnson and Yimi Garcia, who struggled before being demoted and then struggled in the minors. He might have the filthiest stuff of all relievers not named Jansen, but he was awful in May and June, allowing 12 earned runs in 22 2/3 innings in those months. Wouldn’t hate to see Garcia as a fixture in the bullpen, but I feel like Johnson can and will turn it around soon.
So there’s my seven-man bullpen. This bullpen would sort of fill me with confidence if used correctly, especially the top five guys.