While it was much easier to project a working bullpen for the Dodgers about a month ago, the additions of both Alex Wood and Jimmy Nelson not only affect the landscape of the starting rotation, but will also have an indirect impact on the 2020 relief corps.
It was the biggest worry of Dodgers fans last season, and it proved to be the fault in the plan. Clayton Kershaw was once again left in too long, for what we can assume was because there was no faith in who would come after him. The Dodgers bullpen has failed them more often than not when it matters in the postseason.
If you were able to catch my column on Sunday, you would have seen my projections for the 2020 starting rotation at Triple-A Oklahoma City. The main goal of the story—as with most of my prospect posts—is to examine the organizational depth of the Dodgers at all levels of their farm.
Without a doubt, December is much too soon to start thinking about building a big league bullpen, especially when considering the prospective long and middle relief spots of the 2020 crew. However, since this has been the slowest winter in quite a while for the Dodgers news-wise, we thought this would be as good a time as any to take a very preliminary look as to what the Los Angeles relief crew might look like for the upcoming season.
At one point during December’s Winter Meetings, it looked like the Dodgers were hot on the trail of reliever Dellin Betances, but once Los Angeles snagged righty Blake Treinen, it appeared that the interest in Betances may have subsided.
After staying mostly quiet for the first two and a half days of the 2019 meetings, the front office crew of the Dodgers has addressed the club’s “omnipresent” need that we discussed on Tuesday—the bullpen.
While some fans of the Dodgers believe that a big splash this winter personnel-wise is vital in improving the team, there’s a good probability that Andrew Friedman and his crew will make one or more of their trademark, reclamation-type of acquisitions to fortify the roster.
Like clockwork, when Dodgers‘ boss Andrew Friedman speaks to reporters during his end-of-season press conferences every year, he reiterates that righty swing man Kenta Maeda will be an integral part of the club’s starting rotation at the onset of the following season.
Although the Dodgers have already racked up 101 wins and have secured home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs, there seem to be several spots on their prospective postseason roster that are still up for grabs.