Yesterday at Fan Fest, Andrew Friedman, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ President of Baseball Operations, made statements saying that the front office fully believes in guys like Yimi Garcia, Chris Hatcher, and Pedro Baez. That might not be all they’re believers in, though.
Also yesterday, Friedman said that the team is going to expect help from some interesting players. Namely, Alex Wood, Frankie Montas, and freshly signed Cuban right-hander Yaisel Sierra.
Courtesy of the Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) on Twitter:
Friedman mentioned Alex Wood, Frankie Montas and Cuban RHP Yaisel Sierra as potentially impacting #Dodgers bullpen at some point in 2016
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) January 31, 2016
This is quite interesting considering Montas was rated as the 95th best prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, and because Wood is traditionally a starting pitcher. But if the team, and front office, are ready to see them out of the bullpen then that could be added value.
For instance, Montas has been clocked as high as 102 MPH on a radar gun, and if you put him out of the bullpen exclusively then you can get a power inning out of the flamethrower. A fastball-slider combination out of the bullpen has been more than enough for plenty of pitchers, so it could be enough for Montas with the Dodgers in 2016.
That doesn’t even take into account the fact that Wood could become a left-handed relief specialist out of the bullpen late in games. And then there’s the Cuban import Yaisel Sierra. He features a mid-90’s fastball and potential plus slider, but his control is wonky.
If the front office is banking on these three out of the bullpen in 2016, it could be a boom or bust type of proposition. If it busts, it could lead to disastrous results. But if it booms, and booms in a big way, then the Dodgers could have added three top-of-the-line relievers to their bullpen in no time while helping the team achieve postseason success.