Dodgers’ Bullpen Creating Serious Concerns


When it took Rich Hill 104 pitches to get through six innings in Tuesday’s contest against the Mets, many onlookers cringed at the fact that the Dodgers‘ relief corps would need to be depended upon to complete three full innings of work.

Four different Los Angeles pitchers appeared in the dreaded seventh inning, two of whom never recorded a single out. Ultimately, it was a grand slam off the bat of New York outfielder Michael Conforto that put the Mets ahead for good.

While it’s certainly easy to point fingers at specific pitchers, two bases on balls to begin any inning is a recipe for disaster, specifically in the later innings of a tight contest.

Skipper Dave Roberts tends to agree.

“I think that it’s one of those things where you have to start getting ahead,” Roberts said after Tuesday’s defeat. “The numbers don’t lie. Giving free passes, we strike guys out, we’re taking on some damage.”

Without a doubt, much of the success of the team has come at the hands of the starting rotation. By going deeper into games, it limits the use of the bullpen, thus giving Roberts many more choices as far as his late-inning options go. In effect, the starting rotation has been hiding how bad the relief corps of the Dodgers actually is.

The two most successful relief arms for the Dodgers this season have been Kenley Jansen and Pedro Baez. After those two, there isn’t really anyone close. Baez leads the relief crew with a 0.857 WHIP and a 2.73 FIP while Jansen isn’t far behind with marks of 0.957 and 3.25.

The worst stats in the bullpen are Caleb Ferguson‘s 6.84 FIP and Joe Kelly‘s 1.909 WHIP. Kelly’s 51 ERA+ is about the worst in baseball. Yimi Garcia has a FIP of 5.57, which is second-to-last on the team. Dylan Floro‘s numbers are tumbling quickly, just like we predicted a few weeks back.

For the most part, Julio Urias has thrown well, but it’s hard to view him as any type of savior, especially if a mid-season innings limit is going to be implemented.

We already talked about the possibility of adding Craig Kimbrel after June 3 without the team needed to give back a compensatory draft pick back to the Red Sox, but the right-hander still wants to be a closer. Furthermore, he’s demanding a multi-year contract for an amount which would surely push the Dodgers past the Luxury Tax Threshold for 2019, something that management appears likely to stay away from doing.

Unless boss Andrew Friedman and his crew can come up with something big during the summer trade deadline, the bullpen will continue have its fair share of both impressive and disappointing moments over the course of the season.

Let’s just hope the teams offense and starting pitching can make the ineffectiveness of the relief crew seem minimal.


36 thoughts on “Dodgers’ Bullpen Creating Serious Concerns

  1. There will be a lot of good relievers available in July. Only question is whether FA will decide to pay the price. If the answer is in the affirmative, I would suggest he might want to act sooner than later because both the Cubs and Red Sox will certainly also be in the market for a good bullpen guy.


  2. Looks like we’re gonna need multiple innings from our pen tonight. Who the heck is Roberts gonna use in the 7 th inning tonight?


  3. Holy shit is all I can say. This team…..they are special. Never out of a game. I can’t believe many, myself included, were worried about the Dodgers losing too much power in Puig and Kemp. You’d think right handlers would learn by now to quit throwing fastballs to Joc because he’s going to crush it. Just imagine how great this squad would be with even a mediocre bullpen.


  4. Just checked the box. Urias 4 hits in one inning including 2 home runs? Yoiks.

    8 earned and we win? I didn’t see the game but I’m going to guess our pitchers were throwing the ball over the middle of the plate again. I guess that’s fine if we score 9. Also…. 6 for 10 WRISP?

    Team pitching – we are 3rd in MLB, first in the NL. Relief pitching – 21st in MLB. In a tight series against the league’s best? ……. it’s a problem. If it continues it will be addressed. With an 8 game Division lead they might just work on it internally


  5. No wonder AF can’t get the bullpen right. If, before the game, the Mets would have offered to trade Diaz for Yimi and Alexander of course he would have said yes. Game results: Yimi – 1 inning, no runs. Alexander – 1 inning, no runs. Diaz – 0.1 inning – 4 runs. We also beat Hader twice in a row in Milwaukee. That said, I’ll still take Hader and Diaz over Yimi and Alexander……………………..just not last night.


  6. Honestly is anyone untouchable on the farm this year besides Gavin Lux and Will Smith? No way I trade those two as they will be starting in LA very soon but everyone else is fair game.


      1. I think he might just get desperate enough to win a WS this year that he would consider including a top 10 prospect in a deal for a top notch reliever with decent years left on their contract (Hand, Vazquez, etc.)
        I think Jeter, Estevez, White or maybe even Santana might be included in that kind of deal. It’s a huge risk because relievers tend to be so up and down, but this might just be the year he would do it.


  7. May is right on the line but I think Ruiz is in play in the right deal. I’m convinced Will Smith is the future at catcher for this team.


    1. Opinion is definitely divided on the two catching prospects. If it’s me, I keep them both for a couple of years until I see exactly what I have at the major league level with both of them. If you trade either one of them now and the one you’ve kept flames out, you have a problem. Although we have a number of other good catching prospects, I think the only one (besides Smith/Ruiz) who is considered exceptional is Cartaya and he’s so young you can’t really be sure of what he’ll utlmately turn into.


      1. Cartaya is exactly why I would trade Ruiz in the right scenario. What if you hold onto Ruiz and he flakes out? Sometimes it’s better to strike while the iron is hot, especially when you have 2 insurance policies in Smith and Cartaya. If Cleveland would give us Hand for Ruiz I do it in a heartbeat.


      2. I completely understand your thought process Alex. I just don’t agree with your conclusion. But I’m willing to say that you have as much chance of being right as I do. And, yes, the Indians would do that trade in a New York (or rather Cleveland) minute. Both of their catchers have lifetime batting averages under .215. Although they might ask for a low level prospect to be added. That said, I don’t think AF does that deal.


      3. Is it too late? Let’s offer him to the Indians even up for Hand. 🙂
        I seriously doubt he’ll ever have much of an MLB career but you never know. It would just take one pitching coach to connect with him and get his head on straight so that he’d actually listen to advice. That coach, however, will not be with the Dodgers. That ship has sailed I’m afraid.


      4. I think that’s sound thinking Jefe, but if the right reliever becomes available…. I’d part with Smith. I think Ruiz grades higher.


      5. Well now Scoop, you’re creating a problem here. Alex wants to send them Ruiz while you want to let them have Smith. Why don’t you guys meet over beers (or whatever beverage you prefer) and let us know by tomorrow exactly who it is that we’re trading.


      6. I wonder if they could get anything for Connor Wong. Or maybe it’s true that his arm will indeed prevent him from making his mark in the bigs. I think he might be able to hit well enough, though.


      7. He’s so far down on our depth chart that he doesn’t stand a chance here. He must realize that and he’d probably be happy to be traded almost anywhere. Let’s see if we can get a bullpen prospect for him of approximately equal value. One or both of them might thrive after a trade.


      8. Great, thanks. It’ll give us something to toss around since AF has now taught us to always be forward-looking.


  8. Dennis, could you give us a quick run down on guys we’re definitely going to need to think about protecting going into the Rule 5 this year. I just took a look at the current 40-man and identified 6-8 guys who could easily be taken off after this season, so I’m hoping we can protect anyone worthwhile without much strain.


  9. Exactly Dennis. I remember the we’re talking about trading Alvarez and others for Jose Fernandez before he passed. Now we couldn’t get a used washing machine for him. The Cuban players are just headcases unfortunately.


  10. Well they figured out how to fix the bullpen tonight, go from the starter to the closer, and skip the rest of the guys. I agree with you guys, brad hand would look great in dodger blue, but you don’t trade your top prospect, Ruiz, for bull pen help. If Andrew can fix the BP this team is going to be something special.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.