Though Dodger fans may remember the Braves bullpen for their collapse in Game 4 of the National League Divison Series, they should once again be one of the more formidable groups in 2014.
As for the Cardinals, they too have the core of their bullpen returning next season. Losing Jason Motte to Tommy John surgery presented its share of difficulties, but it also gave their young relievers an opportunity to grow. Motte is unsure when he’ll be able to return and Edward Mujica is no longer with the team, which leaves 100-MPH thrower Trevor Rosenthal in the closer’s role.
Setting up Rosenthal will be the duo of Carlos Martinez and Kevin Siegrist. At age 24, Siegrist showed remarkable composure for a rookie that should carry over. The Cardinals bullpen should be formidable once again with power arms at the back end of their bullpen.
In the American League, 2013 World Series Champions Boston Red Sox have improved their bullpen with the signing of Mujica, who had 37 saves last season for the Cardinals. Koji Uehera is back as the team’s unquestioned closer, as too is setup man Junichi Tazawa. The steady Craig Breslow, who finished second on the team with 14 holds is also back for the Red Sox. 2014 should hold much of the same for the champions, with the exception of meshing Mujica with the group.
Statistically speaking, the Dodgers may not own the best bullpen in all of baseball or perhaps even in the NL. However, what they do posses is a reliever who isn’t fazed by the pressures that come with the postseason (Wilson), and a collection of young and talented pitchers who have had the benefit of pitching in high-pressure situations. Assuming good health, the Dodgers’ bullpen should be in the discussion as one of MLB’s best in 2014.
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