The Dodgers’ bullpen was solid, despite some hiccups this season. It was led, finally, by its elite young closer, a rookie lefty, a crafty veteran lefty and another rookie who could be in line for a larger role in 2014.
Dodger bullpen by the numbers
4-3, 1.88 ERA, 76 2/3 IP, 0.86 WHIP, 5.6 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 2.1 BB/9, 13.0 K/9, 6.17 K/BB, 190 ERA+, 28 saves
- Jansen was, once again, dominant out of the Dodgers’ bullpen. He also, once again, had to take the closer job from an inferior pitcher for the second year in a row. Jansen mixed in his slider a bit more this season, but he lived off his plus-plus cutter and is one of the best relievers in the game.
5-7, 3.97 ERA, 68 IP, 1.47 WHIP, 9.5 H/9, 0.4 HR/9, 3.7 BB/9, 6.5 K/9, 1.75 K/BB, 90 ERA+, 1 save
- Belisario might have the second-nastiest pitch in the Dodger bullpen. His mid-90s sinker is devastating -- when he can control it. There were stretches in 2013 when he controlled it well, but he also got hit around a bit. He was better in the middle of the season than he was at the beginning or end (either from overuse or general ineffectiveness). He was overtaken by a young pitcher who’s two spots down on this list.
4-1, 2.03 ERA, 62 IP, 1.05 WHIP, 6.1 H/9, 0.3 HR/9, 3.3 BB/9, 7.8 K/9, 2.35 K/BB, 176 ERA+
- Howell was an under-the-radar signing, and it paid off greatly for the Dodgers. Howell was hell on lefties and pretty good against right-handed hitters, too. That versatility should help him land a 3-year deal on the free agent market -- hopefully from the Dodgers.
3-4, 2.32 ERA, 54 1/3 IP, 0.90 WHIP, 5.0 H/9, 0.8 HR/9, 3.1 BB/9, 10.4 K/9, 3.32 K/BB, 154 ERA+, 2 saves
- Rodriguez was one of the Dodgers’ best relievers for a majority of the season, but overuse led to a poor September and October. Still, Rodriguez is a big part of the bullpen going forward and Don Mattingly’s willingness to trust a young guy was refreshing to see.
6-4, 5.30 ERA, 54 1/3 IP, 1.55 WHIP, 11.4 H/9, 1.3 HR/9, 2.5 BB/9, 4.6 K/9, 1.87 K/BB, 68 ERA+, 14 saves
- League began the 2013 campaign as the Dodgers’ closer. He got off to a good start before imploding on an epic level. Initially, I like the deal to bring him back. Of course, I thought we were getting the good League, not the horrifically bad one. He’s still owed $15 million over the next two years. Barring a bold DFA, he’ll be back. Hopefully he’s no more than a mop-up guy.
3-0, 2.60 ERA, 34 2/3 IP, 0.95 WHIP, 5.2 H/9, 1.3 HR/9, 3.4 BB/9, 11.2 K/9, 3.31 K/BB, 138
ERA+, 1 save
- Withrow’s recall was somewhat surprising, but he took full advantage of his first big-league action. A failed starter in the minors, Withrow thrived out of the bullpen and laid claim to late-inning, high-leverage work for the Dodgers. The only issue I see is his home run rate. He gave up five homers in 34 2/3 innings. That needs to come down. Despite that, he could be Jansen’s setup man for many years to come with a mid-90s fastball and two breaking pitches that are -- at times -- plus-offerings.
2-3, 4.80 ERA, 30 IP, 1.47 WHIP, 9.6 H/9, 0.9 HR/9, 3.6 BB/9, 6.3 K/9, 1.75 K/BB, 75
- Guerrier was, mercifully, in the last year of an inexplicable 3-year contract, and he performed about as expected -- poorly. He was so bad that he was actually traded to the Cubs for the next guy on this list and international spending money -- a net win for the Dodgers. At no time this season was he a reliable option and eventually needed surgery.
0-0, 2.53 ERA, 21 1/3 IP, 1.55 WHIP, 5.9 H/9, 0.4 HR/9, 8.0 BB/9, 11.4 K/9, 1.42 K/BB, 143
- Marmol gonna Marmol. He struck out his fair share of batters, but he also walked his fair share. Not much was expected when he was acquired, but at least he wasn’t God-awful for the Dodgers. Rightfully, the team didn’t trust him in high-leverage situations.
2-1, 0.66 ERA, 13 2/3 IP, 0.88 WHIP, 5.3 H/9, 0.0 HR/9, 2.6 BB/9, 8.6 K/9, 3.25 K/BB, 556
- Wilson’s signing was a low-risk, high-reward proposition for the Dodgers (and himself) -- and it appeared to pay off for both. Wilson was great in limited time, continued that to the playoffs and it should result in a multiyear deal to close. If not, I’d love for the Dodgers to bring him back to set up Jansen.
Jose Dominguez, Grade: B
Onelki Garcia, Grade: INC
Javy Guerra, Grade: D
Peter Moylan, Grade: D-
Skip Schumaker, Grade: C (Because he touched 91 MPH on the gun)
Shawn Tolleson, Grade: INC
Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue