Could The Dodger Bullpen Become a Strength?

Right now, I trust Yimi Garcia, Pedro Baez, Scott Alexander and Company about as much as I trust a fox to guard the hen house. However, in baseball, many other sports and the stock market, it is best to see what can be, not what is.  You don’t buy a stock hoping it will stay where it is.  You don’t get a player who already has a high value unless you are willing to overpay. The Dodgers have been connected to several relievers who could be high leverage guys in our bullpen… and there is no question _____________ (you fill in the blank) would help us.

But, do they need to do that?  The Dodgers have already gotten Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill back from the DL. Their absences have stressed the bullpen tremendously and Striker Buehler will be back next week.  Next comes Ryu and Urias in August.  If Wood and Meada go to the bullpen, it automatically is dramatically better.

Consider this rotation:

  1. Kershaw
  2. Buehler
  3. Stripling
  4. Hill
  5. Ryu

Bullpen:

  1. Alexander
  2. Jensen
  3. Maeda
  4. Wood
  5. Fields
  6. Cingrani
  7. Chargois, Liberatore, Ferguson, Garcia, Goeddel, Hudson, Parades, Stewart, Venditte

Sure, the Dodgers could use a Blake Treinen, but at what cost… and do they really need him? He would be great at the right price…

What will it take?

Dodger News

  • It was good to see Turner reach to the “push” on the tag at the plate last night and then have Yasmani shut their mouths right after that.
  • I hope Kershaw can give the team 5 or 6 this afternoon.

 

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 60 Comments

  1. Dodgers are plannning to use a 6 man rotation for awhile. Longer term our bullpen will be strengthened but for now expect more of the same as far as relievers.

  2. I wanted 3 of 4 in this series. Kersh has a chance to get us that series win. Amazingly, after our horrid start, and combined with a just average National League, we have the 5th best record in the NL, just 3 back of the best record overall. Let’s keep this up!

  3. Count me in on the side that believes the Dodgers absolutely need a lockdown late inning reliever like Blake Treinen.
    .
    How can you say no to a 30 year old 6′ 5″ 225 pound pitcher who throws a 97.0 MPH sinker and a good complimentary slider. He has pitched in 31 games this year with 38.2 IP, and has compiled 19 saves and 2 blown saves (last being 04/18), a 0.93 ERA, 0.879 WHIP, 1.78 FIP, and 47 K in those 38.2 IP. The A’s are 27-4 in his games pitched. I thought he should have been on the Dodgers radar last year when he was with the Nats.
    .
    Compare that with Kenley – 36 games and 38.0 IP, 21 saves and 2 blown saves (last one 04/17), a 2.37 ERA, 0.921 WHIP, 3.23 FIP, and 37 K. The Dodgers are 27-9 in games Kenley has pitched.
    .
    How great would it be to have a bridge to Kenley who is having a better year than Kenley in late inning situations? Treinen is not a rental with 2 more years of team control. Just like everything else, the question will be what is the cost? Admittedly, I have no idea how these valuations are determined. I do not know if the A’s are looking for AAA players or AA/A+. FAZ will only include players that they can easily replace with others. I do not know how the A’s would value these level of players. All that being said, I will revise yesterday’s proposal to include Edwin Rios, Jeren Kendall, and one of Yadier Alvarez or Josh Sborz. If it takes a switch of Yusniel Diaz for Kendall, I would still think that would work.
    .
    I would also think an additional high leverage reliever with multi year team control like Kyle Barraclough would be a huge plus.

    1. Because Muncy probably is not good enough defensively at second and is blocked from first and third by Belli and Turner, I would suggest to the A’s that Muncy and Baez/Fields should be considered for Treinen.
      .
      Alvarez, Anderson, Grandal, Ruiz, Puig and ? for Barraclough and Realmuto.

      1. Please stop trying to trade Puig to Miami. It ain’t happening unless Donnie gets shitcanned. Not to mention a team in a rebuild isn’t looking a for a player with 1 year left and that year being an arbitration year. Donnie does love Joc though, but that isn’t happening either.

          1. Yes!! For June, Joc has played in 21 games (14 starts) and in 62 PA he is batting .309/.387/.945/1.333.

          2. He seems to have figured it out. He looks like World Series Joc which was quite a weapon.

          1. I have faith in Joc in a platoon right now. He seems to be having more quality AB’s against lefties but not so much that I would play him every day.

          2. MJ,
            You are correct it is a marathon, but you wanted to point to what has happened the last 2 weeks. Let’s look at the entire season to date:
            .
            OPS – Muncy #1 (.997), Joc #2 (.900)
            OBP – Muncy #1 (.401), Kemp #2 (.351), Joc #3 (.349)
            BA – Kemp #1 (.311), Joc #2 (.265)
            .
            He is 33 plate appearances shy of qualifying for league leaders. If he did qualify, his OPS would be good for #15 in MLB tied with Jose Altuve.
            .
            Going back to the WS, Joc was far and away the best offensive bat LAD had on the roster. Had the Dodgers won the WS, Joc would have been the MVP.
            .
            Joc is a good teammate and not a locker room cancer even when he struggles.
            .
            He is not my favorite Dodger, but he isn’t near the bottom of that list either. When he is bad, he is very bad. But even he has recognized that he concentrated more on results in the past rather than the process, and that brought about way too many changes. This year (or maybe the WS) a light went on and he now understands that it is the process and not the results that matter, and the difference is noticeable this year.
            .
            I have no idea how long it will last, but I am going to enjoy it as long as it does. Joc is a good likable “kid” who deserves credit when he does well, as he has certainly suffered the wrath when he has not.

        1. That is one perspective. Yes, Puig and Donnie had their differences in LA but both have changed, especially Puig. Puig’s home is in Miami and I am sure he would like to work closer to home. There is a new guy in town in Miami that goes by the name of Jeter. Also, Miami could flip Puig so that Puig never plays a game for Miami. Is Donnie a sure thing in Miami?
          .
          Lighten up Hawkeye. I understand FAZ reads our comments everyday and I enjoy giving them a good laugh.

          1. Let me ask, what has changed about Mattingly other than managing for a terrible organization? Realmuto is cheap. They will want long term controllable assets in return who are cheap.

          2. AC

            I was just trying to cheer up the people on here, that are big Puig fans.

            Because everyone has been going after Puig on here, lately.

            And I was looking at the numbers, and I saw that Puig put up an OPS in the 900s, in May, and in June.

            And after I saw those numbers Puig had put up, I thought maybe everyone was being to hard, on Puig.

            Because those are pretty good numbers, even though, his overall numbers, don’t look that good.

            Puig is not my favorite player either.

            I also get frustrated with Puig, when he doesn’t practice the fundamentals of the game too.

            I mentioned the last couple weeks, because in baseball, things can change quickly.

            Like it did for Joc, in the first couple weeks, of June.

            But like I said, baseball is a marathon, not a sprint, and players tend to go up and down.

            And because of that, even Puig’s overall numbers, might look better in two weeks, too.

          3. AC

            Puig is not my favorite, but his recent numbers, are not that bad.

            He is sitting just under Joc for average, now.

            And like I already said, his OPS has been good, the last couple months.

            He is on this team, so I hope he does well, but he does frustrate me at times too.

      2. Treinen is a top closer. You are not going to get him with a player they released last year and Baez and Fields who are nowhere near the quality of Blake Treinen. What is the upside for the A’s? Muncy is best at 3rd/1st/DH. Their two best position players are the two Matt’s, Olson and Chapman at 1st and 3rd, and Khris Davis is the DH. Top prospect Franklin Barreto will replace Jed Lowrie at 2B when he is traded. How does Muncy fit in that lineup? Or better yet, how do the Dodgers replace his bat in the lineup? Baez can be included, but he is not going to minimize the prospects required to make the deal. The A’s will want an OF making Diaz, Peters, and Kendall logical targets. I am not even sure that Rios would be considered by the A’s for the same reason that Muncy would not be a match…the two Matt’s and Davis. Plus none of Rios, Sborz, Alvarez, Diaz, or Kendall are on the 40 man, so the As would not have to DFA anyone. Muncy, Baez, and Fields would require the A’s to make roster adjustments.
        .
        The A’s are looking to move Jonathan Lucroy, and with only Josh Phegley on the 40 man and Bruce Maxwell falling totally out of favor, perhaps Kyle Farmer would be considered. Sean Murphy is their catcher of the future, but he is not ready yet.

        1. Cody has been our best hitter, in the second part of June.

          In the last six games, Cody is ten for twenty three, with 4 HRs and he has hit in 8 runs, and he has a total of 15 RBIs in June.

          And only Cody, Turner, and Puig, were able to get a hit after Hendricks was pulled yesterday, and to Puig’s credit, he got two more hits, after Hendricks was pulled.

          And Cody hit that HR off a leftie last night.

        2. AC, I didn’t do the home work on who the A’s already had for first and third base. Muncy seems like the type of player the A’s want though. Your thoughts on the A’s not being enamored with a player they released is contradicted by you asking how do the Dodgers replace his bat in the lineup. Muncy either has value now that he didn’t when he was released or he doesn’t. Can’t have it both ways.

          1. Dodgers wanted Muncy. A’s didn’t. A’s go to the farm to bring players up, and trade players like Muncy to fill that farm. Maybe the A’s would take him, but not as an integral part of a Blake Treinen trade. Blake Treinen is a bonus for the A’s as the prize they were after was LHSP Jesus Luzardo, #21 overall MLB prospect, and #2 LHSP prospect. If they can now flip Treinen to get another potential integral part of their future roster that is what they would do. Muncy is going backwards for them. Muncy helps a contender (like the Dodgers), not a team on the build. If the A’s were legitimate contenders, maybe their interest would be heightened, but if that were true, Treinen would not be available.

    2. I’m with you AC. I think Mark’s plan looks good on paper, but FAZ values depth and versatility. Maeda and Wood provide both. However considering Wood, Ryu, Kershaw, Hill, and Urias all come with injury concerns, those two may have to stay in the rotation out of necessity. Buehler comes with inexperience. I think he’s great and I love watching him pitch, but he is inexperienced. Stripling hasn’t thrown this many innings in a long-time so he’s bound to digress some. Morrow was a weapon the Dodgers hadn’t had since the Gagne-Mota combo years ago. Yes, I know Joey Pancakes had a nice year, but we all knew the clock was going to strike midnight at some point. Unfortunately, it was during the playoffs. If they aren’t going to let pitchers go through the batting order a 3rd time then I want to see a Wood, Maeda, Urias, Treinen, Jansen type of pen and not the likes of Baez, Garcia, Liberatore, Fields, and Chargois. Also, the Dbags aren’t going away anytime soon so we need to get to the post-season.

  4. It wasn’t long ago that the nationals got rid of Treinen to improve their bullpen. I find it ironic that he is now the hot relief pitcher to be acquired. I concede his performance warrants that. It would certainly be interesting to see Treinen come back to bite the nationals.

  5. bullpen arms are comedy. Some years they just figure it out, and become great bp arms. Next year they suck. So rare to find a consistent, great bp arm. Pedro Baez will probably figure things out when he gets traded to Tampa or Oakland.

      1. Bum, remember Jim Johnson? Overall pretty useless. Then in 2014 or 2015, he figures it out as a bp piece and raises his value. We get him, and he reverts back to useless form. And he’s been pretty useless since.

  6. I would like to watch a 5 to 7 player core of Lakers for 10 years. That can happen because of all the early draft picks the Lakers have collected.
    .
    I don’t want the Lakers to trade away that core.

    1. I was going to ask about this. If Lebron would sign with LA first it would take away what leverage SA thinks they have over the Lakers. Some of these trade proposals for Leonard are ludicrous in my opinion. Especially, for a guy who couldn’t play last season. I’m not dealing Kuzma. I think some of these people are underestimating how much the young guys will improve next season. They’re a playoff team next year without Lebron, PG, or Kawaii. If it’s about the money then I get George going back to OKC, but if it’s because he likes Westbrook then he’s a fool. No way I would want to be stuck with Melo and watching Westbrook jack up 30 shots a game. They won’t ever win a championship there with that group in OKC
      . Kuzma, Ingram, Ball, Randle, Hart, Wagner, Bryant, Zubic. It’s a great core. Get Lebron and let the others follow

  7. Anybody want Adam Jones? With Seager out, we lost our CF as Taylor has shifted to SS. If Machado is too high, use some parts to land a stud cf who would free up joc to spell Kemp and Puig. Muncy could still see time at 2b and 3b. I personally wouldn’t mind not seeing bellinger in cf. Muncy will be one hell of a world series DH.

  8. I thought the idea was to pitch Ferguson so instead not just pitch a guy but give them the game. Buehler should have taken the day off. Over and out

  9. So Kershaw looked great and then the bullpen really worked out great… didn’t it?

    Buehler looked like Farris and Goeddel pitched like Roger.

    Memo to Bullpen: 7 Run Innings Should be Avoided.

  10. Doc is costing us games. He continually remove starters long before they should be removed. I usually do not criticize managers. However, Doc is losing games for us.

  11. I believe that Kershaw was close to the pitch limit that was set for him before the game, so removing him when they did was part of the plan. I don’t know what was wrong with Buehler today, but for whatever reason there was too much reliance on his fastball, especially for a pitcher who possesses high quality breaking stuff.

  12. Those who do not think that the Dodgers have a serious bullpen problem are not being realistic. I am generally in agreement with Mark much more than not, but with respect to the Dodgers bullpen, do not move along folks, there is something to see here. Walker Buehler had no business being in a MLB game without a rehab. Josh Fields is now on the DL. There are no relievers down in MiLB that can be relied upon to help the ML team. FAZ has tried the plan to get (or keep) that player before he becomes that player, but they have never developed…Baez, Garcia, Paredes, Liberatore. Cingrani is hurt, and now Fields. Stripling is in the rotation. Now it is time to go out and get the relievers who can help this year. You cannot have a starting rotation that cannot be relied upon to be able to go more than 5 innings and not have the bullpen to support it. Alexander, Chargois, Liberatore, Garcia, Goeddel, Hudson, Parades, Stewart, and Venditte are not Blake Treinen, Brad Hand, or Kyle Barraclough. There is no reason to believe that either Dennis Santana or Caleb Ferguson will be capable relievers in the post season. I like both of them…a lot. But I am not willing to rely on them for critical relief in a playoff environment
    .
    Machado does not help a poor bullpen. The DBacks are not going away and I only see them getting closer to the team they were in April than the team they were in May. Goldschmidt is now hitting. Pollock is due back soon. Ray is back and pitched 6 innings of shutout ball and 86 pitches in his 1st game back after a longer delay than Kershaw. I also believe that they are the favorites to land Machado making them even more of a favorite to win the division. The DBacks are willing to address a problem with the lack of hitting from their SS/3B, but there does not seem to be any urgency about replacing Forsythe.
    .
    The team is now 3.5 back of Arizona. They are at the beginning (Game 7) of a 23 game stretch in 24 days before the All Star break. You think the bullpen is spent now, wait until the All Star break. It is a shame with how well the offense has picked up that the Dodgers do not seem to be motivated to help the two true weaknesses on the 25 man…2B and relief pitching.
    .
    That is my vent for the day. Maybe now I can sit down and read a good book instead of worrying about a game.

    1. And look at the back end of the D-backs ‘pen.
      Hirano 2 – 0, 1.25 ERA, .97 WHIP, .529 OPS against
      Bradley 2 -1 1.28 ERA, .95 WHIP, .556 OPS against
      Boxberger 1 – 3, 3.68 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .736 OPS against

      They have the lowest bullpen ERA (2.51) in MLB. Dodgers are 12th (3.75), even though they play in a pitchers park. Anyone think that 1 1/4 runs per game isn’t a big deal?

    2. Totally agree with your take. However, today was not about the bullpen. It was another dumb… decision by Roberts to throw Buehler out there when he wasn’t ready and then leaving him in there to lose the game when he wasn’t performing. I’m surprised he didn’t bat Forsythe 4th today. Both series we had opportunities to break games open with a key hit but didn’t. Our bullpen is awful. There is not anyone you can depend on to throw strikes. However, today another example of junior high managing. It was pretty obvious that Buehler didn’t have it today but Roberts looked like he decided let’s just give them the game.

      1. Agreed!

        My message to the ownership / management would be… please don’t treat Walker Buehler like he’s Brock Stewart or Wilmer Font. And instead treat him like you would a future all star that will eventually be the cornerstone of your starting pitching rotation for many years to come… because he probably will be.

        And even if for some reason they convinced themselves that flying him back to LA to pitch today (against one of the better hitting teams in baseball) was a better idea than letting him pitch his scheduled rehab start in OKC. After he gets hit hard in the 6th… Why in the world would you bring him back to pitch the 7th. (I swear I was having flashbacks to the world series)

        And even if you thought that was a good idea… how do you not take him out after Happ doubles and/or when Schwarber walked on 5 pitches…. it was still 3-3 at that point. Unfortunately Walker wasn’t fooling anyone today… he was a little rusty and that was evident (to everyone) very quickly.

        Please don’t manage like these games don’t mean anything… they mean a lot to the players and the fans. And could potentially even mean home field advantage in the payoffs, if both teams win their respective divisions and end the season with the same record.

  13. And the main reason the Dodgers lost this game was their struggling to hit WRISP. The Dodgers had ample opportunity to separate themselves from the Cubs early on.

      1. That is an on going theme with this team.

        HRs are great, but not many HRs, will be hit against good pitching.

        We only had three players on this team yesterday, that got a hit, after Hendricks was pulled too.

        We have to do better, when running are in scoring position, or we won’t win to many close games.

      2. So, here is some info on the Dodgers hitting with RISP:

        The Dodgers are 12th in the NL in BA.

        The Dodgers are 9th in the NL in OB%

        The Dodgers are 9th in the NL is OPS.

        The Dodgers are 5th in the NL in runs scored.

        The BA doesn’t tell the story. The runs do and they aren’t so bad… but they should be better.

        1. The batting average may explain the trouble getting hits, when runners are in scoring position.

          We can’t do better!

  14. I think the dodgers’ front office view is so big picture that individual swings like today’s reversal hardly even move the needle (to mix metaphors). What’s most important to them is that buehler got back into game action. Its almost as if they didnt think this game’s outcome was the main consideration. Also, while having caleb Ferguson piggyback kershaw (which is what I would’ve done) sounds good now, it’s possible it would’ve ended badly as well. I agree that we have a need for steadier bridgework between starters and KJ but the very nature of our staff (ever revolving) means that we never have a set group until we are forced to via postseason deadlines. If it clear wsr are one if the best five NL teams. We could be the best right now (even after an abysmal start). Between now and October we will experiment, test, and look for new ways to get production. Occasional failures like today must be tolerated in order to locate the growth potential in our roster. Win games? That’s last year. This year we are searching for The Formula.

  15. Go back and re-read. Did I say we did not need bullpen help? No!

    What’s the cost?

    Blake Treinen.

    Manny Machado.


    Here’s what it will take:

    Muncy
    Pederson
    Lux
    Peters
    Toles
    Sheffield
    Ferguson
    Diaz

    Would you do it?

    1. For what seems to be the hundredth time, no to Machado this year. Sign him in the off season if need be.
      *
      As far as the helpless bullpen, we need both a 7th and an 8th inning man.

  16. 1. Verdugo CF
    2. Turner 3B
    3. Machado SS
    4. Bellinger 1B
    5. Kemp LF
    6. Taylor 2B
    7. Grandal C
    8. Puig RF

  17. Man, here’s a weird one for you: leading off and playing 1b tonight for AAA OKC: connor joe

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