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Dodgers: Andrew Friedman Speaks On The State of The Bullpen

Friedman sounds like a man content with standing pat.

When Craig Kimbrel signed with the Chicago Cubs, it left the Los Angeles Dodgers with what they have. Surely, it’s a cast of characters that have served to make things interesting.

One might ask: how many games would the Dodgers have won at this point with an above-average bullpen? While it’s interesting to wonder and second guess, it’s good to get the scoop from the man who constructed the unit.

And so our friend Bill Plunkett with the OC Register did just that. Indeed, Plunkett spoke with the Dodgers’ President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman about the state of his bullpen.

Unless he’s posturing, Friedman sounds cocksure of the group that he has in a Dodger uniform.

“Our guys have the stuff and we have enough diversified looks to be really good down there,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “We’re not doing it. We haven’t done it to this point consistently enough. But we do feel like there’s a potential for us to have a really good bullpen with internal guys. If we’re able to do that, great. If not then we’ll try to remedy it from the outside.”

Now, if that quote makes you drop your jaw, I saved a better one for the next one. Reliever Joe Kelly has struggled, and there’s no way to paint a better picture of that. Furthermore, his 7.91 ERA and 1.81 WHIP are proof that he’s not performed like a difference-maker the Dodgers thought they were getting in the offseason.

However, Friedman feels like he’s only been bad in half his outings. The issue with this is, he’s appeared in 20 games.

“There have been like eight outings where he’s had bad outings,” Friedman said. “In his last eight, he’s been way better. He had one bad one with some fluky hits or whatever. So he’s been way better. It’s still not good enough. But it’s directionally been way better. We’ll see.”

While I am here to simply deliver the news – that quote made me chuckle a little bit. Truly, I believe Friedman is one of the best in the business. Because of this, I think he will address the bullpen in some manner.

And I think it’s safe to say that he’s trying to calm the waters in the wake of Kimbrel signing with the Cubs. Plunkett provides us with a very interesting read on a Dodgers’ off-day.

What do you think of Friedman’s comments about the bullpen? What would you say to his quotes? Let us know in the comments and be heard!

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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  1. I see the front office going with May and or White from farm system to try to catch lightning in a bottle. If you recall May was one of the final pitchers cut and his stuff is good enough for a inning or two. I’d rather see them try them before trading for relief pitchers

  2. Without an improved bullpen, I don’t think that the Dodgers can win.a World series. I don’t think that they have to blow up the bullpen. Just tweak it. Add a couple of veteran lefthanders like Tony Watson and another veteran lefthander.

  3. I believe that the true test is where we are now. I respectfully look at the bull pen as just that, the one item that takes the element of uncertainty and throws caution into the wind. To have the best team in baseball the players come first…… THE OWNERS NEXT. When you hear thunder you walk inside. You don’t see it as the world is ending.

  4. He is either bluffing or is blind. Positive thinking doesn’t win ball games. This team would easily be a 50 game winner right now with a slightly better bullpen. What if we were above average?

  5. Wow i hope the Dodgers kick this guy to the curve. O can’t believe he is making this stupid remarks about our bullpen .saying that we have a great bullpen that tells u how blind he is .he still thinks he’s in Tampa Bay. NOT kn Los Angeles where us the fans demand an allstar team evey year not the garbage players he signs that have had like surgerys.i want him oitnof The Organization what do u guys think

  6. Friedman is spot on. We have the arms. They will be OK. Baez has been solid. Jansen has been good but not great to This point. But his ERA is in the low 3’s. Just think of that grand slam never happened? 2 bunt singles prior to it that could have been outs!! And then he has a save and not a loss. And an ERA in the low 2’s.Floro has had a rough couple games. He will ride it out. Kelly? His ERA is 3 runs higher than his lifetime average. Likely to have a strong stretch. Stripling? Urias? We just need to be patient. Make a tweak if necessary. But all in all; we have a tough tough team.

  7. We need a left hand reliever that can actually get someone out and a dependable 8th inning right hand reliever to set up Jansen.I would like the other Will smith from the Giants as a first choice, Brand Hand as a second choice from Cleveland. From the right side I really like Giles.The teams I mention are all out of contention now and we should trade sooner than later and not wait to go through the trash bin at the last minute and trade for players like Madson or Axelrod.. We will not go far in the playoffs without improving the bullpen.That is the team’s only weakness at this point and we have the talent in the minor leagues to achieve those trades. With the strong draft we just had ,Friedman will be able to replenish the coffers even after trading for a reliever.

    • I agree with you completely, Andy. I would like to see Will Smith or Brad Hand in our bull pen or a pitcher of their caliber. July 31st is right around the corner and it’s looking as if we are going to need to make external changes (versus relying on internal improvements) as soon as possible. Or we will have serious problems post season. We are an excellent team and with bull pen improvements, the end of post season should reflect this.

  8. I am willing to give him more time to turn this thing around. Otherwise, we need some decisive action. I agree with him about Kelly, at least for now. Hey Andrew, like that lab coat.

  9. Friedman himself said in his quote that if they don’t get it done “we’ll remedy it from the outside”. He has until July 31 to see if these guys get squared away and if not he’ll be ready to make a trade.

    A decent bullpen could be Jansen, Urias, Stripling, Baez, Floro, Maeda and either Ferguson, Alexander or an outside lefty.

  10. I think Friedman said what he is supposed to say as President of operations. Nothing jaw dropping about his comments. Imagine if he said the bullpen sucks. That would be jaw dropping. It’s a read between the lines comment he made to show support for his club. And like he said, “If not then we’ll try to remedy it from the outside.” In the past sas he not been active in The non-waiver Trade Deadline without giving up the future? Relax Clint. We’re in 1st place and still time for changes.

  11. I think the bullpen will get better. I do think that Kelly has been showing signs of improvement recently. The Dodgers have jumped out to an early lead in the standings on everyone in the NL so there is no need to rush into anything right now. They can afford to be patient and see if things improve. If they don’t then it sounds like Friedman will make a trade around the deadline, which he has done recently.

  12. Friedmans no moron.Hes built us into a great team for a long time to come.I still don’t understand why he’s so naive when it comes to the BP.Imo,he only really tried once.That was Watson and Cingrani.I think Morrow was w us after spring training.I still say Hou was far better than Bos and we almost beat em.Bos destroyed us.I really hope nobody thinks we could hang w Hou or NY right now.The Yanks could very well hv the best pen ever in the end.Ryan Presley is on another planet plus their other guys not even the closer are really good.If u don’t hv guys that can strike ppl out in the playoffs it’s not gonna work.Were at 8.5 per 9 now.Id think where everything’s clicking this would be easy right now.Theres 2 lefties that Shd be gone after and a righty.Id love to see Hand or Doolittle and Colome.I still think we need 2 guys not just one.I mean seriously can u think of how bad Hou and Ny would torch our pen right now?Im not comfortable w Kelly and Alexander and Ferguson being in our pen if we get to the playoffs.I know ppl say Kenya and Dick Mtn will be there then but I think they’re a lot diff when they start.This is a special team.Honestly u couldn’t hope for much better out of em but man this has gotta be fixed.Our SP and Batters are sooooooo good.Cmon Friedman if we were just a average pen we’d be 30 over.Better be moving fast too.Every team except NY is gonna be after pen guys.Kenley needs help like Kershaw got.It would keep our SP fresh too.KJ in 9th.Hand or Doolittle prolly the latter but one of em in 8th and Colome in 7th.Urias and Baez for 6th.If we do this then we’re good to go IMO.Now more than ever is the time to get us some bad MFers in our pen.Screw this blue light special shit.If it’s one guy then go all out for Hand.

  13. Trade for a lefty reliever to replace Alexander the hack. As far as a right handed one goes just call up May or one of the other ready pitching prospects who could excel in relief this year

  14. Just look at the smug look on this SOB’s face in his white suit. C’mon people, call him what he is and send letters to him demanding he fix the one aspect of this team which can prevent them from winning a WS title.

  15. We need another reliever ASAP!!!! Baez turned in another signature performance on Wednesday!
    If we get to the post season, we will compete against the top pitchers and hitters. It might all come down to the BP : our is inconsistent at best. Can anyone really tell me that they do not worry when Baez, Alexander, Floro and Garcia come in when the game is close? AF states the BP will come together; the season is 10 weeks old, and our BP has cost us more games than our starters. Our BP has not gelled yet, and it is time!!!!! Go Blue!!!!

    • BLUE LOU!!!!!!!!! Correct you are here. Wednesday’s game was partially on Roberts for pulling maeda after only 5 innings and 70 pitches. Alexander, I believe we have seen enough of his act. Simply put, LOU…NO BP…NO WS RING.

  16. It’s simple. Everyone has to perform at the level we know they can perform. No matter who it is. Wether we trade for them or not. The teams that win it all are firing on all cylinders. We have time to get the bull pen going. And they are perfectly capable of shutting it down when they are on. Trading for pieces doesn’t mean they will perform either. Remember Darvish?

    • Paul:

      Unfortunately, this club’s main area of weakness is the pen. Fear of bringing in the relievers may end up “forcing” the innings of the starters which by this fall will mean tired arms. This time of year it seems all the contenders and wannabe contenders are looking for relievers. It would be helpful if the FO guys would take a reality check and spend less time with platitudes. There’s an old adage that when you start believing your own press releases, you know you’re in trouble.

  17. Definitely all for improving the bullpen, especially if we get a Will Smith/Brad Hand/Felipe Vazquez (my preferred choice) type. But, the last three world series winners have won with atrocious bullpens. And the last two have won through contact (timely hitting) and piggybacking starters (aka the Rover). Contact always seems to go away for the Dodgers in October. And we all know how bad Kenley’s been the last two seasons, partly due to the fact that he is called upon way too early because of how bad his bullpen mates have been. So here’s my counter. Trade with the Washington Nationals for Max Scherzer, Anthony Rendon, and Sean Doolittle. The Dodgers get another ace in October (Strasburg would be acceptable as well but Max is the second-greatest pitcher of his generation), a huge contact bat in Rendon, and get that lefty lockdown reliever we’ve been searching for.
    Haha haha, you might be saying. I’m crazy. But we’ve seen crazy deals before with this Dodger regime. It’s go big or go home. Normally, I’d be all against trading so many prospects for big names. But I truly believe these final pieces make us the premier team in all of baseball, one that would certainly matchup with the AL juggernauts.
    Now, it won’t be easy. And it’s no certainty that the Nationals will be selling (cause they’re not that smart to realize that they, er, suck), but I propose that it can get done. First of all, money should be no issue. I’ve always been for staying under the luxury tax, but to get Max Scherzer, yeah, screw that. I’m not saying we should be foolish about it. If anything, we should try including Pollock in the deal to counter some of that money being brought in. Or maybe the Nationals even agree to pick up the tab, at least for this season. As far as prospects, the only two I deem untouchable are W. Smith and Lux (and just maybe DJ). Beyond that, especially with the draft that we just had, I say, have at thee. We have a mid-30s, still-pitching-like-a-hall-of-famer-and-isn’t-showing-any-sings-of-slowing-down (hello NL FIP leader) ace workhorse stud who we’d trade for with 2 1/2 years left on his contract (sound familiar?). The most underrated (and in my opinion, the best) third baseman in all of baseball. Rendon reminds me so much of Turner in so many ways, from his offensive skills to his swing to his discipline, undervalued fielding, and clubhouse leadership, that this is the guy I would want to inherit the third base spot from Turner when he retires after next year (or comes back on a David Freese-type deal). And Doolittle is a guy who I’m not as high on as the aforementioned relievers, but that I believe, in a mega-deal such as this one, the Nats would almost just throw in, or would not cost as much prospects-wise as the other W. Smith (or defintely Vazquez/Hand).
    The trickle effect is obvious. Scherzer starts Game 1, Kershaw Game 2, Buehler Game 3 (in a do-or-die game, who would you rather have than this young stud?), Ryu Game 4. But wait, what about D. Mountain and Maeken, you may ask? Off to the pen! Hill and Maeda don’t go as deep into games, and the Dodgers would be able to liberally use them in the Rover role like Hinch and Cora did (and remember, the Dodgers have Urias and Stripling in Rover roles, already! Man, are we just rich in talent or what?!). One of Turner or Rendon goes to second (neither is an Ozzie Smith with the glove but they play solid, serviceable defense). I would make the argument for Turner going to second because Rendon is younger and hasn’t played second since 2015, but then again, neither has Turner (see the similarities!) and Rendon is the guy coming in. He should be the adaptable one if he wants to get paid handsomely (by us in the upcoming winter, which we will :D). Anyways, this has the obvious domino effect of delegating Kike and/or Taylor back to a super-utility role, where they belong. And Doolittle. Yay!
    In the end, this is a fool’s greatest baseball fantasy (not really, I want Mike Trout). But if you want a mega-deal, and if you want to get over the hump L.A., this is something akin to what you have to do. But seriously, fix that pen. Just don’t break the bank doing it unless you’re going big.

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