Grading the Dodgers: Bullpen

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Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Nicasio– B-/C+

It’s difficult for me to grade Nicasio too harshly as nothing was really expected of him. The Dodgers traded something called Noel Cuevas for him and after four years of being a failed starter in Colorado, I figured Nicasio would be a mop-up/long relief/spot starter for the Dodgers. In mostly low leverage situations, Nicasio gave up three runs in 21 April and May innings and worked his way into being a go-to guy out of the bullpen, which might say more about the rest of the pen than it says about Nicasio.

When he wasn’t walking people, Nicasio was money. He gave up 9.1 hits/nine, which was the best mark of his career, and had career-best numbers in home runs/nine and strikeouts/nine. However, he walked 4.9/nine, which was also the highest number of his career and despite a lower hit rate, Nicasio still had the second-highest WHIP of his career.

Nicasio was better than anyone could have predicted, but faltered down the stretch in higher-leverage situations and was left off the playoff roster. He pitched the most innings out of the Dodger pen, which in itself is a huge problem. He’s arbitration eligible and will probably still be around next year, but if he’s a vital cog in the pen next year he either figured something out or something went horribly wrong.

Next: Kenley Jansen