Dodgers: How the Playoff Bullpen Should Be Constructed

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 16: Kenley Jansen /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 16: Ross Stripling /

Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling

As of right now, there is no way that Kenta Maeda makes the starting rotation. He’s too much of a risk with his inconsistency and pitch inefficiency. That and there are five other arms more deserving of a start.

But that doesn’t mean he can’t be valuable. Over his last two starts, he has thrown three innings in each game, possibly an effort to get him ready for the reduced outings he’d be coming out of the pen.

He has a 4.25 ERA on the season but maybe knowing that he’ll only have to go two to three innings at most may help him. He’d be able to go all out instead of trying to last over five innings which, for him, makes him less effective because of his (again) pitch efficiency and stamina.

Ross Stripling’s 3.95 ERA and 1.20 WHIP may not look too pretty to the naked eye, but it wasn’t too long ago where he had an ERA in the low 3’s. It’s just recently that he’s hit a bump in the road.

In his last two outings (1.2 innings) he has allowed six runs, causing his ERA to leapfrog from 3.26 to 3.95. Before these hiccups, there is no doubt that “Chicken Strip” had been one of the three most valuable and dependable relievers on the team. He’s come in at all different times during games, and his presence cannot be overstated.

And, the value of the long man or “swingman” in the playoffs cannot be overlooked either. Starting pitching in the playoffs is usually random in the postseason, and the leashes for starters are shorter than usual.

Once something starts to go wrong early in the game, most pitchers will get pulled. So you need someone that can give you 2-3 good innings and keep the game close.

This duo should have a significant role next month.