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Dodgers: 7 Other Teams Rank Above Los Angeles in Bullpen Strength

The Dodgers bullpen is WAY down to #8…



The Dodgers have found a way over the last few years to have one of the best bullpens in the league. Despite not breaking the bank outside of Kenley Jasen, Los Angeles had the best bullpen in the National League in 2020. 

They’ve obviously lost a few pieces in free agency since then, but the 2021 bullpen rankings still don’t seem right. Fangraphs came out with the list today and ranked the Dodgers way down at number 8, with the Padres 5 spots ahead of them.

The truth is, the Dodgers are depending on a lot to go right in their bullpen for the 2021 season. They made a trade for Corey Knebel in hopes that he could find his 2017 form with the Brewers after struggling through a few years if injuries. Los Angeles also signed Brandon Morrow to a minor league, looking to squeeze some value out of the 36-year-old veteran.

On the other hand, they do have established arms already in the bullpen. Kenley Jansen is still the Dodgers closer, and like it or not, he is still good at his job. He might not be the elite 2017 Kenley Jansen that we once had, but he is the best option in-house. Los Angeles also re-signed Blake Treinen to a two-year deal that also includes a club option for 2023. 

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Outside of those two veterans, the Dodgers have also found a lot of success with a youth movement in the bullpen. Victor Gonzalez came in and put up ridiculous numbers by inducing soft contact and keeping his groundball percentage up. The addition of David Price will likely push another young starter to the bullpen, which will only make them better. 

There are a lot of really good bullpens on this list, but the Dodgers being down to #8 does seem like a slap in the face. Bookmark this one for October, when Los Angeles has a top-3 bullpen in the league. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. The main guys like Jansen, Treinen, and Knebel haven’t been great since 3 years ago. You hope Gonzalez can reproduce something close to last season, and a couple of guys can revive past performance. Basically this group projects as mediocre, with a big dose of hope. They have a quantity of guys capable of being good, but no sure thing, or even a clear cut closer.

    • You must be on drugs the one that they need to give the ball to for a closer is gastro that’s a no-brainer

  2. Look who is not mentioned because of the depth of the entire pitching staff. Gonsolin, May, Graterol, Kelly and Urias so 8th is a relative term and the entire staff is 1st, 2nd or at the worst 3rd in baseball. Smoke that.

    • Right on Curt,

      We only need 5 starters. Then there is also Josiah Gray. Assuming that the 5 starters will be Buehler, Kershaw, Price, Urias, and May, that leaves Gonsolin, Gonzales, Knebel, Floro, Kolarek, Santana, Alexander, and White to fight it out for long relief, setup, and or closer in place of Jansen. I believe Jansen is favoring his heart rhythm condition and I don’t blame him for it, but a high stress position is no place for anyone with heart issues.

  3. bullpen ratings are useless. a month into the season and it’s a lock that this article will look stupid. the dodgers have a system of doing homework on these rehab arms and usually one or two will pan out and have career years. btw, does anybody think the dodgers are done trading? my guess is at the end of the year the dodgers will lead the stats again. i like morrow to bounce back.

  4. Yes to be rated eighth in the major leagues and bullpen is they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about it’s like the guy said that worse the third just give the ball the guess gastro I’m just commenting

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