3. Blake Parker (Reliever)
After living in relative obscurity for much of his career, Parker broke out with lasting force in 2017, setting career bests in nearly every pitching category. The 6’3 right-hander had never been a viable major league closing option, yet he closed out 2017 as the frontrunner for saves in the Angels 2018 ‘pen. But things did not quite work out that way.
More from LA Dodgers News
- Kevin Kiermaier being ‘top target’ to replace Cody Bellinger is bad sign for Dodgers
- Giants laughably sign pitcher that Dodgers absolutely own
- Dave Roberts’ quote about Padres in NLDS should motivate Dodgers
- Former Astro seemingly takes uncalled for shot at Cody Bellinger after Cubs deal
- Dodgers’ 2023 lineup without Trea Turner isn’t as impressive as it should be
Though Parker did add 14 saves in 2018, he did not follow up his breakout 2017 with much improvement or consistency. His ERA went back up over 3.00 and his FIP went back up above his pre-breakout 2016 mark of 4.04. His strikeout rate dropped from 33.9% in 2017 to 25.4% in 2018 and his WHIP ballooned from 0.83 to 1.24.
Part of this can be explained by his batted ball data. Hitters hit the ball harder and hit far more line drives and flyballs against Parker in 2018 compared to 2017 according to Fangraphs.
And like Strickland, Parker’s fastball got a lot worse. By his Pitch Info pitch value, Parker had the worst fastball of his career in 2018. He went from having a far above league average fastball in 2017, 16.3 pitch value, to having a pitch worth -5.1 in 2018.
If the Dodgers think they can fix his fastball, which lost 1.2mph between 2017 and 2018, Parker could add closing and late-inning experience to the bullpen.