With perhaps the Los Angeles Dodgers’ achilles heel in 2014 being their bullpen, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi worked to upgrade the group of relief pitchers.
Among those no longer with the team are Chris Perez and Brian Wilson, who effectively have been replaced by Chris Hatcher and Joel Peralta. With Kenley Jansen expected to miss at least the first month of the season after having foot surgery in February, the Dodgers are left without a closer.
According to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times, Zaidi doesn’t think the team needs a set closer until Jansen returns:
I just don’t think it’s that important,” said General Manager Farhan Zaidi. “That plays itself out over the course of the season.”
Manager Don Mattingly previously stated he’ll rely on matchups as opposed to naming a temporary replacement for Jansen. However, who will makeup his options remains to be seen as the Dodgers have yet to set their 25-man roster for Opening Day.
Hatcher, J.P. Howell and Peralta are expected to be part of it, despite each of them having mediocre springs (none had an ERA below 4.00). It’s assumed Juan Nicasio will also make the team because he is out of options.
Lefty Paco Rodriguez had the best spring of all the relievers, not allowing a run in 11 appearances, which should bode well for his chances, though he has options and that spelled doom for him last season. The Dodgers are expected to announce their roster Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s noon pacific time deadline.
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