Dodgers: Bullpen Turnaround? Dodgers’ Pen Leads MLB in ERA for June
The Dodgers’ bullpen has been the weakest link on the team this season. In June however, the LA pen leads MLB in ERA and is near the top of other pitching statistics.
The Achilles heel of the 2019 Dodgers is no secret. The bullpen has struggled and free agent prize Joe Kelly has turned into anything but a prize. Even the once-dominant closer Kenley Jansen has looked average at times. But things have been looking much better lately for the LA bullpen.
In the month of June, the Dodgers’ bullpen leads MLB in ERA with a 2.04 ERA. ERA can be a bit misleading for a bullpen though so to justify that, the Dodgers’ pen ranks fourth in MLB with a stranded runner rate of 81%. Despite home runs being near an all-time high around the league, the LA pen ranks third in baseball during June with a home run rate per nine innings of just 0.68.
For good measure, the Dodgers’ bullpen also leads MLB in batting average against (.131) and WHIP (0.93). Who has helped spark the bullpen’s turnaround? The starting rotation has helped relieve the bullpen by pitching deep into games. In June, the Dodger pen has pitched the fewest innings of any bullpen with 39 2/3 innings.
Which relievers have been the best in June? Caleb Ferguson and Yimi Garcia lead the pen with no runs allowed in June although each has thrown just three innings. Pedro Baez and Julio Urias have also been very effective with ERA’s of 1.50 and 1.80 while swingman Ross Stripling is just a tier below with an ERA of 1.93 in June.
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Yimi Garcia leads the club with an average allowed of zero since he has pitched three hitless innings while Julio Urias has been much better out of the bullpen with an average allowed of .094. Even Joe Kelly has joined in on the turnaround with an ERA of 2.25 in June and despite four walks, he has allowed just one hit.
The worst relievers in June have been Dylan Floro and Scott Alexander who currently have ERA’s of 3.86 and 9.00 this month. Alexander has allowed an average against of .400 while Floro cut his June ERA and average against in half with his scoreless inning last night. Alexander was placed on the injured list with an arm injury while Floro has regressed a bit after dominating the first two months of the season.
As long as the rotation keeps eating up innings, the Dodger bullpen will keep pitching well as less is asked of them. With just over a month until the single trade deadline this season, every reliever outing will be put under a microscope as Andrew Friedman weighs a trade for another reliever. If the pen keeps up it’s June performance into July, there may not be a trade for a reliever after all.