The bullpen is a very important aspect to any team and the 2017 Dodgers are experiencing one of the best bullpens in Major League Baseball. Dave Roberts has experimented with the bullpen by assigning starting rotation pitchers like Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu to the pen where they’ve had tremendous success and bounced back to earn spot starts in the rotation. The Dodgers have dawned some the best closers in MLB history and currently have the best in the league. This first part will focus on the best arms to come out of the pen throughout the years.
Mike Marshall (1974)
Threw: Right
Although he only pitched in L.A. for two years, the ’74 season was his career best. All-Star, Cy Young winner, Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News, finished 3rd in MVP voting and holds multiple records with the Dodgers including most appearances in a season and most consecutive games in relief. In 106 Games (208.1 innings) 2.42 ERA / 1.186 WHIP / 142 Strikeouts / 21 saves. He really excelled in the postseason where he pitched a 0.75 ERA / 0.583 WHIP in 7 games.
Steve Howe (1982)
Threw: Left
In his third year in the league and at 24 years old, he was already a successful relief pitcher. Rookie of the Year and World Champion, the 1982 season seasoned proved to be just as successful through 66 Games. Faced 393 batters and posted a 2.08 ERA / 1.047 WHIP.
Ron Perranoski (1963)
Threw: Left
A year dominated by Koufax and Drysdale, Ron appeared as the un-hittable third arm and finished third in the MVP voting. He tossed 129 innings, saved 21 games, struck out 75 batters. He pitched an extraordinary 1.67 ERA / 1.202 WHIP. Perranoski came in clutch for the Dodgers in game two of the 1963 World Series against the Yankees, shutting the door on their championship attempt.
Charlie Hough (1976)
Threw: Right
An 8th-Round draft pick out of high school, Hough ended up having a long and healthy pitching career. 142 innings pitched in ’76, up from 61 innings the previous year and lowered his ERA to 2.21 and his WHIP to 1.255.
Leon Cadore (1917):
Threw: Right
A majority of the time he was a starter, but spent time in relief. It’s a toss up between 1917 and 1919, but ultimately he tossed more innings (264) more strikeouts (115) while maintaining a 2.45 ERA and 1.114 WHIP in 1917. “Caddy” Cadore was a relentless pitcher with a lot of stamina, who holds the records for most innings pitched in a single game (26).
Phil “The Vulture” Regan (1966):
Threw: Right
With so many great pitchers in the starting rotation for the Dodgers in 1966, he was strictly used as a relief pitcher. He ran with it and shut the door on the leagues’ best hitters. Winning the N.L. Reliever of the Year award was also the Comeback Player of the Year in his All-Star 1966 season.
Eric Gagne “Game Over” (2003):
Threw: Right
In 77 attempts, he collected 55 saves with an ERA of 1.20. The first pitcher to record 50 saves in a single season and fastest to reach 100 saves. He won the Relief Man of the Year Award and the Cy Young Award. When he came out out of the pen, more than likely the batter was going to be an automatic out as he had his career best 137 Strikeouts.
Kenley Jansen (2017):
Throws: Right
Although it’s only been half a season, Jansen has proven consistency, dominance and has surpassed all previous Dodger closers in career saves. After facing 112 batters while racking up 51 strikeouts, he issued the first walk of the season in June. He passed the 200 save mark and after 36 games. He has locked down the 9th inning with a 0.96 ERA and 0.558 WHIP.

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