The Los Angeles Dodgers just suffered a four-game losing streak, Jim Johnson gave up plenty of runs, and the Joc Pederson/Yasiel Puig duo has largely continued to slump, but I’ve got a message for Dodger fans: relaaaaaxxxxxxx.
Yes, none of those aforementioned issues are positives, and yet the Dodgers are still 2.5 games up on the equally-dreadful-lately San Francisco Giants. Plus, there’s still plenty of hope to be found — and of all places, some of it can be found in the bullpen.
Excluding Tuesday’s game, the group was asked to pitch 21.2 innings over the last seven days and they allowed 18 earned runs, 31 hits and issued seven walks; good for a 7.48 ERA and 1.75 WHIP. Conjuring of images of dreadful bullpens in the past, and it seems reasonable to freak out.
And yet, I’m not ready to for a number of reasons.
For starters, I don’t believe this is the bullpen we’ll see in the postseason. It’s difficult to imagine Joel Peralta and his 5.60 FIP are long for Los Angeles, and replacing him with Yimi Garcia and his 3.44 FIP (2.96 xFIP) will do wonders for fan confidence at the end of games.
Secondly, there’s Johnson. If you want to assume that what we’ve seen the past seven days (13 baserunners, 11 earned runs and .750 BABIP in 2.2 innings pitched) is what we’ll see the rest of the season, well, you’re more pessimistic than me.
I believe Johnson has a few weeks to prove he’s the guy the Dodgers saw in Atlanta (3.20 FIP in 48 innings pitched), and if he doesn’t, he won’t be contributing come October anyways. Another reliever to consider should Johnson need replacing is someone many have discussed recently: Mike Bolsinger.
The reason most people like the idea of Bolsinger in the bullpen is twofold — first, he was so solid as a starter, but even more intriguing are some of his split stats.
CONTINUE READING: Dodgers’ Postseason Bullpen Could Be Best Yet In Recent Years