The Los Angeles Dodgers are a powerhouse team with a dynamic pitching staff. Major teams are putting an extreme emphasis on pitching capability, and with post season on the horizon, many are asking: How will the Dodgers bullpen hold up?
It seems the number of pitcher injuries is finally dwindling; just in time for post season! The current bullpen is at 12 players, yet the favorited relievers will get more playing time as the season comes to a close. The starting rotation seems to be hitting their stride, so now, we just need the bullpen to do the same.
I think fans are still cautious with late relievers; like after Joe Blanton ended Rich Hills perfect game by giving up a single in the bottom of the eighth, against the Miami Marlins. Yet redemption is given by the other members of the bullpen. For example, when Kenley Jansen went in even with a hurt wrist!
Jansen holds the record for most strikeouts by a reliever in the MLB. Despite an inflamed right wrist, he can max out around 97 mph- not to mention he has the most impressive era of the bullpen (1.81).
Playoff experience is crucial for success, yet two of the biggest names in the bullpen have yet to see a playoff series. Grant Dayton and, bullpen newbie, Julio Urias will be seeing playoffs for the first time as relievers. They have been pretty reliable so far, but playoffs may throw them off, so they will need to call on the veterans for help.
Julio Urias: 1.99 ERA and 30 K in 31 2/3 innings since returning to the majors August 3. But heading to the bullpen for real this time.
— Drew Silva (@drewsilv) September 14, 2016
Dayton has been noteworthy for the Dodgers since being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City early last month. He has a 1.86 ERA over 19.1 innings, with the Dodgers.
Joe Blanton currently has five wins and two losses and an ERA of 2.37. He is no stranger to playoffs…or winning the World Series, so hopefully he will be a steady hand! Not to mention, he can handle a bat pretty well too!
Adam Liberatore, on the other hand, has two wins and two losses with an ERA of 3.18. His presence on the mound is sure to excite fans and intimidate batters!
They have the numbers, they have the heart, they just need the opportunity. Fans have been voicing their negative opinions for the current bullpen, but lets not forget the Dodgers are number one in the NL West. First place teams are not where they are if the whole team isn’t first place material.