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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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I’ll be the first to admit I’ve overreacted about the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen thus far. It was the fourth game of the season, and the Dodgers had just lost a 4-3 heartbreaker in Arizona thanks in large part to J.P. Howell’s inability to find the strike zone.

It was brutal.

Here was Howell, the person who I believed to be the only reliable reliever the Dodgers had at the start of the season, looking completely incompetent against an inferior divisional rival.

All I could think was, “If Howell is no good — what hope do the Dodgers really have?”

A couple wins and a few deep breaths later, emotion has subsided and reason has set in, and, to be honest, I think I actually like where the Dodger bullpen is at.

It starts with Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia and Joel Peralta — three newcomers this year who have been absolutely lights out thus far. The three have combined for 15.2 innings, while allowing just one earned run and eight hits, and racking up an impressive 21 strikeouts.

The next batch of relievers are Howell, Juan Nicasio and Paco Rodriguez — all have been fine, but at times underwhelming. In 10 innings, these three have combined to allow three earned runs, 10 hits and total 14 strikeouts. Not terrible, but pretty “meh”.

Rounding out the bullpen is Christ Hatcher, an offseason acquisition that most folks were excited about heading into the season. Well, unfortunately he hasn’t left much to be excited about thus far. In 3.1 innings, Hatcher’s allowed five earned runs and six hits while striking out six.

CONTINUE READING: Reason For Hope In Dodgers Bullpen

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