One of the major storylines heading into the Los Angeles Dodgers 2014 Spring Training was the performance of reliever Brandon League. League signed a three-year, $22.5 million in 2012 after being acquired from the Seattle Mariners and his 2013 performance was downright awful.
He started the year as the closer, but after blowing five saves, he was replaced by Kenley Jansen by the middle of June. After allowing a two-run home run today to Josh Donaldson of the A’s, manager Don Mattingly was asked League’s performance:
Well obviously we’re unhappy with the results and I’m sure Brandon isn’t happy with the results. So, we continue on. Glad it’s spring training get him work and get better. His velocities are up and expect him to be. We’ve looked at pitches and Rick (Honeycutt) hasn’t come back and said anything. Glad it’s Spring Training and we continue to work.
League allowed a walk and the home run before getting two flyouts and was pulled out of the game. Relievers were on pitch counts today since they’ll soon start to pitch in consecutive games. However, any poor outing is raised with League as he saw his spring ERA balloon to 16.87 as he’s struck out just one and walked four in just 2.2 innings pitched.
The Dodgers have plenty of arms competing for a spot in the bullpen, but League’s inflated salary gives him a spot. Things got so bad last season that Mattingly trusted him in only mop up situations and that too didn’t go to plan as he’d quickly allow a run or two to score.
With Rule 5 draftee Seth Rosin impressing and Chris Withrow fighting for his spot, the Dodgers will have to either let Rosin go or option Withrow to Triple A at the expense of League. League and the Dodgers have under two weeks to get things straightened out or he won’t be relied upon in 2014.
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