Finding guys for the bullpen that can dominate for a low cost is Andrew Friedman’s specialty. Since his arrival to the Dodgers, the President of Baseball Operations has continued to find these guys to put together quality bullpens. He does it much like he did in Tampa Bay.
The Joe Kelly contract was a little bit out of the ordinary for Friedman. He hasn’t been one to give out large contracts to relievers in the past, so Kelly must have seemed worth it. But it’s those guys that he takes a flier on that are of real interest to Dodgers fans.
A few of those guys have shown up in a big way in 2020. Two of them were claimed off of waivers or signed after being cut by other teams. One was landed in a three-team trade involving the Dodgers.
Dodgers fans were a little bit annoyed when the Dodgers signed Mcgee to a one-year deal in July. The bullpen had their left-handed relievers, and talking up roster spots seemed uneccesary. But Jake McGee has come out of nowhere to dominate hitters in a limited sample size.
He’s also doing it without a real pitch mix, throwing his fastball close to 95 percent of the time. Whatever he’s doing, it’s working in a big way. McGee has a ridiculous 0.29 FIP and an xFIP of 1.29.
The thing that stands out most about Dylan Floro is that he has yet to allow a hit to a left-handed batter. Most of that can be attributed to his sinker and his changeup, throwing the two pitches a combined 60 percent of the time. With the new three-batter rule, Floro has stepped it up for the Dodgers.
He has also yet to be charged with a run in his 6. 2 innings of work and has held opposing hitters to a .136 batting average.
Scott Alexander is one of those guys that Dodgers fans have been waiting for a big season out of. When they made the trade for him in 2018, Alexander was supposed to be a ground ball lefty who could get batters out on both sides of the plate. What they got was a guy struggled to keep the ball out of the air against righties.
This season has been much different in the early days of the season. Alexander is inducing groundballs, but he’s also striking out guys at a ridiculous rate. He is averaging 10 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched, the best of his career. Keep in mind, it’s still a very small sample size. Nevertheless, it has been encouraging to see Alexander grow and thrive in big spots.
Dodgers Keep it Simple
Simplicity seems to be the name of the game for these Dodgers’ success. Alexander is throwing his sinker 80 percent of the time, while McGee and Floro are also sticking with mostly one pitch.