Dodgers: Quality relievers still available in free agency
Reclamation project relievers: Arodys Vizcaino and Jimmy Nelson
Over the years the Dodgers have had several reclamation type relievers turn into effective late-inning relievers. Two former projects that come to mind are Joe Blanton and Brandon Morrow who revived their careers in Los Angeles and became setup relievers for the back end of the Dodger bullpen. There are two interesting candidates in free agency who could be the next success story for the Dodger bullpen.
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One of those relievers is former Braves’ closer, Arodys Vizcaino. Vizcaino underwent labrum surgery earlier this year and his timeline to return is unclear but he could be ready to return sometime late in the season. Arodys has averaged 10.1K/9IP in his career and successfully converted 50 of 63 save opportunities. He could be an interesting gamble for a bullpen in need of relief.
The other reliever project in free agency is former starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson. Nelson strained his rotator cuff and partially tore his labrum in his throwing shoulder sliding into first base at the end of the 2017 season. Jimmy missed the 2018 season and returned to pitch in 10 games last season and pitched to an ERA of 6.95. What’s interesting however is what Nelson was able to do as a reliever.
Jimmy Nelson made seven appearances as a reliever spanning ten innings and struck out 13 batters in 10 innings while holding the opposition to a .265 average. Nelson has always been a high strikeout guy averaging 10 K/9IP over his last two seasons. Bringing Jimmy Nelson aboard as a reliever could be another low-risk high reward move to bolster LA’s bullpen. The bullpen needs help so there is nothing wrong with taking a flier on Vizcaino or Nelson.