Last Year’s Bullpen Problems Were All Kenley Jansen’s Fault

Many people blame Andrew Friedman and/or Farhan Zaidi for the demise of the Dodgers bullpen in 2018.  They surmise that they failed to adequately equip the pen with the requisite number and quality of arms. Actually, “demise” is a pretty harsh word.  The Dodgers and the Red Sox, the two World Series teams, both finished the regular sesaon with identical 3.72 Bullpen ERA’s.  The Dodgers did have the better WHIP – 1.21, compared to 1.29 for the Red Sox. In the Post-Season, the Red Sox had a 2.71 ERA compared to the Dodgers 2.78 ERA.  Again, the Dodgers had the better WHIP – 1.13 to 1.17.

The World Series was the difference.The Red Sox bullpen was “lights out” with a 1.40 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP, while the Dodgers bullpen was “lit up” with a 1.40 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP… and it’s all Kenley Jansen’s fault! Kenley had a season “for the ages” during the 2017 regular season when he went 5-0 with 41 saves in 42 opportunities and had a 1.32 ERA to go with a “sick” 0.75 WHIP.  In  2018 his ERA “balloned” to 3.01, with a 0.99 WHIP and he was 1-5 with 38 saves in 42 opportunities. Where he really failed was in the World Series where he had a 4.50 ERA.  Really, his numbers were not “horrifying” but they weren’t up to his standards, and as the “Face of the Bullpen,” the rest of the bullpen is a reflection of it’s leader, or actually, it’s closer!

I was listening to MLB.Radio a few days ago and they were talking about how a bullpen often reflects the attitude and success of it’s closer. Of course, there are exceptions, but former players were saying how the closer sets the tone and that it just elevates the rest of the pitchers in the bullpen. I believe that to be true.  I also know that bullpen pitchers are notoriously fickle: Great one year and sucky the next.  Kenley didn’t really suck… most of the time.  He just wasn’t Kenleyesque most of the year.  If a bad season is a 3.01 ERA, then that just tells you how high the bar is for him.

This purpose of this piece today is not to rag on Kenley Janson, but rather, to impart hope for a better 2019.  It was a bad season for Kenley as he started out slow in Spring Training, got injured and then struggled in April, he pitched pretty well until August when he had his heart issues but bounced back in September… only to faulter in the World Series.  He had heart problems… maybe he felt it coming on during Spring Training and he was dealing with a new baby as well as custody with his older daughter.  Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that when kids are involved it may be difficult to focus on baseball, but then, factor in his heart issues and, well, it was a “perfect storm.” In case you didn’t know, heart issues are serious and can kill you… dead!  That’s a big distraction and that alone explains all his pitching woes.

So, he has already had the surgery and by all accounts, it is a success.  He should be good for another 5+ years!  Hopefully his child custody issues are behind him and here’s what I think:Kenley Jansen will show up to Spring Training, in the best shape of his life and ready to take out his wrath at losing two World Series back-to-back on NL hitters.

If the closer is better, the rest of the pen will be better, and depending upon who is there, these guys are much better equipped with another year of experinece.  Stir in some youngesters like Caleb Ferguson, who really got some critical experience in 2018, Dennis Santana, Marshall Kosowski, Yimi Garcia (if tendered and healthy) and others and the pen could be a real strength.  Julio Urias will be back, and maybe he pitches out of the pen for a while to build up arm strength.  Wood, Maeda and Chicken Strip are all “swingmen” or trade candidates.

The bullpen may look vastly different in 2019 and it will all start with one Kenley Jansen.  The Dodgers can go as far as he can carry them, and I happen to believe he can carry them a long way.  He’s done it before. In 2007, Mariano Rivera put up a 3.15 ERA and followed it up the very next season with a 1.40 ERA to go with 39 Saves.  Kenley Jansen is of that same ilk… cutter and all.  We might blame Kenley for last years’ bullpen demise, but we may have to thank him for a Championship next year.  Stay tuned…

Other News

  • The Dodgers and Indians are still cussing and discussing Yasiel Puig, Corey Kluber and others.  Hurry up and make up your minds for us, would you? We are tired of waiting…
  • Dodgers eligible for arbitration:  Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor, Corey Seager and Pedro Baez, Josh Fields, Tony Cingrani, Yimi Garcia.  All will not be tendered contracts.  Who won’t?  Stay tuned

This article has 79 Comments

  1. There were times last year when Kenley entered the game you knew he wasn’t right and as you would say even Stevie Wonder could see it…
    That lies with the bullpen coach, because he knew… Maternal issues and heart issues all played a part, but if you’re not 100% you’re not helping the team…
    Sort of smacks of Yasmani’s problems over the last couple seasons and reported!!

  2. The problem with the Dodgers pen last year was squarely on Management’s failure to do anything to augment the back end, knowing full well that Jansen was less than his normal self. He looked a little heavier all year, had some hamstring issues leading to mechanical issues and then suffered the ultimate recurring heart issue. His velocity, like Kershaw, was down a couple of ticks all year. We all know they did nothing to help him out at the trade deadline and instead looking deep into their spreadsheets and found Axford and Madson. We all know how that worked out. Maybe that’s why Farhan is now a Giant. I’m not buying that Farhan and Ward left the organization entirely on their own doing when the team as a whole regressed from 2017 and failed to hit in the post-season. The only person that will be missed from the management and coaching changes will be Chris Woodward who did a great job as a third base coach and infield coach.

    This week has been entirely boring. Thanks again for giving us something compelling to read each day. I truly appreciate your diligence and the community’s responses to these tidbits.

    It seems like a trade with the Indians is imminent. I’m hoping that deal doesn’t include Puig as MLBTR suggests that it makes no sense that the Indians trying to shed payroll would be targeting Puig and Wood as the main return. But, sometimes trades don’t make sense, like Seattle sending Cano to the Mets, including Diaz and cash to offset the salary of one of the best hitting second baseman in baseball. Wait, there’s more. Taking Jay Bruce’s contract back with it? Wow! Seems like the Mets are gonna make another attempt at competing. Makes me thing Thor won’t be traded.

    1. I don’t know if I agree with your premise. I mean, I was as skeptical as anyone when I saw we added Axford, but when I saw him he was throwing straight cheese. His injury seemed to come out of the blue, just when I was thinking he might’ve helped us in the postseason. As for Madson, I fault Roberts for falling in love with the guy at the worst possible moment. Personally, I’d rather lose with young, farm-raised talent than with older mercenary types.
      *
      All that said, we probably overachieved last season. The NL was way down as a league. We’ll always feel we should’ve won it all in 2017, but there are plenty of franchises that feel the same, from the Texas Rangers to the Atlanta Falcons. There’s no solace for that. I’ve long told myself if we ever win it all, I won’t expect anything for five years after that. Well, that plan’s out the window so I’m back to expecting we’ll compete every year.

      1. Dionysis

        I am with you about young pitchers instead of older pitchers that have a back injury issue, like Madson.

        We were lucky he pitched as well as he did, against the Braves, but both Kershaw and Ryu dominated the Braves, and we know what happened after that.

        AC said before the trade deadline we needed a bullpen arm more then anything else, and I agreed with that.

        And AC picked out two decent pitchers we could have got at the trade deadline, that other teams ended up traded for.

        There is still no excuse for using Madson in that World Series game, after what he did in the prior games.

        Kenley didn’t do his job, but he had a serious health issue, so he gets a break on that.

    2. I think Zaidi left on his own terms. I have been saying for a couple of years that some team was going to tap him as their President of Baseball Ops… and he left for a much higher paying and more powerful position.

      Now, I do not believe that to be the case with Turner Ward.

      1. Maybe Zaidi left on his own terms, but I see that Friedman is in his last year of his contract. Same with Roberts. They didn’t get a guy that can take pressure off Kenley, when Kenley didn’t look himself all year. They traded for an injured second baseman that was arguably worse than their second baseman that was included in the same trade. They got the big name, that arguably under performed and they picked up several bad relievers in Madson, Rosscup and Axford. Not a good look for a GM / Front Office. Friedman is taking over for now, it’s his chance to keep his job. I know you think he’s secure, but I’m not quite so optimistic.

  3. i can only assume that Mark has written this post to draw a reaction so I will accommodate. Jansen didn’t look right all year. The Braintrust handled him completely wrong starting with the Spring. They didn’t let him work due to “fatigue” from the previous Fall (he must have been really tired since he had a 4 month rest). Then he wasn’t ready when the season started and didn’t really look right until about June. But Jansen was hardly the bullpen’s only problem or even its biggest problem.

    The Dodgers’ bullpen blew 27 saves, 2nd worst in the NL. If Jansen blewe 4, who blew the rest? (4 of 42)
    Chargois – 4 of 4
    Alexander – 3 of 6
    Baez – 2 of 2
    Cingrani – 2 of 2
    Goeddel – 2 of 2

    Per Baseball Reference.com. Jansen came in during the highest leverage situations on the team.

    The Dodgers allowed 24% of inherited runners to score. This was tops in the NL. Biggest culprits?
    In raw numbers:
    Chargois – 8
    Alexander – 7
    Baez – 6
    Cingrani – 5
    Hudson – 4
    By percentage:
    Goeddel – 100%
    Cingrani, Madson, Axford – 50%
    Garcia – 43%
    Chargois – 42%
    Rosscup – 33%

    Relief pitcher WHIP –
    Jansen – .991 – best reliever on the team

    Axford – 2.727
    Stewart – 1.821
    Garcia – 1..475
    some others –
    Alexander – 1.273
    Chargois – 1.268
    Goeddel – 1.261
    Baez – 1.250

    Relief pitcher bWAR –
    Floro – 1.1 (lead team)
    Fields – .9
    Baez – .8
    Jansen – .6
    Alexander – .3

    Finally, your eyes didn’t lie. The Dodgers didn’t seem to pitch well in high leverage situations most of the season. Remember in August when Fangraphs had an article about how the Dodgers were one of the worst clutch teams in the past 40 years. The pitching and hitting were implicated in that.

    The Braintrust brought in Alexander and Koehler to augment the ‘pen before the season. Alexander was maddening, walking way too many for a late inning reliever. They added the likes of Axford, Madson and Rosscup at or after the deadline. All were bad. Mid-season additions like Goeddel, Chargois and Floro had their moments – Floro was especially good. In general, additions to the Dodgers’ ‘pen were mediocre at best – the big positive was Floro. Also, calling Ferguson up and installing him in the ‘pen worked well.

    The Dodgers’ bullpen needs to improve if they are going to compete for a title next season.

    1. Exactly, if Kenley had did his job, the rest of the pen would not have been thrust into roles they were not accustom ed to. It was a trickle-down effect.

  4. Come WS and I’m in it, I throw all caution to the wind!! Can Hill, Kersh or anyone out there get me a couple outs??? There is no tommorow and no should be looking fwd to a round of golf or fishing…
    Saw a special on Eck this morning…Now there was a beauty… Where have the Marianos gone???

  5. I can agree on the premise that the closer sets the tone but in Boston’s case, Kennedy and Evoldi set the tone and Kennedy did it unexpectedly.
    .
    Seattle has in the past loved Seager but after last year, maybe not so much. I wonder if Seager, Cano, Diaz might go to the Mets in return for Syndergaard, Bruce, and whatever? Seattle needs to reduce their payroll.

    1. There’s also a cryptic tweet by the main Seattle beat reporter, Ryan Divish, saying the M’s are making two trades today. While it could mean anything, I have to wonder if we aren’t targeting a reliever like Nicasio or Colome. Just a thought.

  6. It’s rare to find a trade that both sides hate, but the Seattle/Mets one might be a worthy candidate. Seattle fans are mad that Diaz’s [immense] value is being undercut by tying him to an albatross of a contract in Cano; Mets fans are questioning the logic of targeting a declining asset like Cano when they have plenty of money to just sign a reliever.
    *
    As it stands, I think Seattle stands to get the least out of it, as there is likely only one premium prospect coming back and he is years away.
    *
    Diaz, even though a reliever, is an incredibly valuable piece and I would personally trade Verdugo & White for him–for example–without hesitation.

    1. I tend to agree with you. Not sure Seattle needed to even blow this thing up the way they have. They could have been next year’s Oakland. They were right there going into September. If MLB made the WC game a series maybe more teams aren’t going into tanking mode. I can’s say for sure though. I think MLB and the Union have still botched the PED thing. It shouldn’t have been about expanding the number of games suspended and all of that. If you really want to stop it and have the proper punishment a team with a player who gets caught should have the right to void that player’s contract rather than take them back. Seattle would have said adios to Cano and would have been an entirely different situation.

  7. Guys n gals, don’tya just want to see what Verdugo will do with a few AB’s and hopefully a set spot in the OF, if the Puig is jettisoned..
    P.S. and yes I know they’re only prospects…

    1. Puig is really LH (the way his splits line up).

      I think AV would give the Dodgers a high OB% bat in RF and I am of the belief he can create power (20 HR). He also has a canon and you won’t see him throwing to the wrong base as much. I am not a Puig hater, but I thinbk the team (as constructed) is better with Verdugo in RF than with Puig.

      BOUNCE-BACK CANDIDATES:

      Scott Alexander
      Corey Seager
      Chris Taylor
      Austin Barnes

      1. Even if Verdugo’s arm is wasted in LF, it would only be for a year before he moves to RF in 2020. I don’t feel like we need to trade Puig just because Verdugo is best fitting as a RF. But Verdugo playing LF probably means trading Joc. I’m fundamentally against this as I think he is probably better than his trade value is worth [if that makes sense]. If Puig is truly on the way out then, yes, Verdugo is the clear replacement. Somehow this might even all tie into where Muncy plays, and Bellinger, and what we do with Kemp. Oh my!

        1. Nothing wrong with having three good arms in the OF. I don’t think others will trust Muncy as more than a one year wonder yet so he’s our 1st baseman and Bellinger is playing CF.

      2. I’ve seen Verdugo take bunny hops before he throws where Puig never did and i thin Puig is more accurate with his throws. What makes them equal is Verdugo more consistently hitting the cutoff guy.
        .
        Verdugo from time to time will take very big swings. I assume he does this not because he is a natural power hitter, but to keep up with the joneses. If he swings hard he will not have a low strike out rate. Hand eye is one thing and over swinging is another. Verdugo should model himself after Buckner and not Taylor.
        .
        The team has power at shortstop and second base; two places where power does not typically exist. They therefore don’t need power from RF, especially with the power at the other positions besides middle infield.

  8. Relief stats are very interesting. You can twist and turn them to meet any of your expectations. Mark used ERA and WHIP as comparisons, but there are many other pertinent metrics.
    .
    Save Opportunities – Dodgers 74 – Tied for 3rd; Boston 66 – Tied for 8th
    Saves – Dodgers 48 – 6th; Boston 46 Tied for 7th
    Blown Saves – Dodgers 26 – Tied for 5th most; Boston 20 – 15th
    Save % – Dodgers 64.86% – 21st; Boston 69.70% – 9th
    Relief Wins – Dodgers 35 – Tied for 6th; Boston 40 – 4th
    Relief Losses – Dodgers 33 – 5th most; Boston 16 – Least in MLB
    .
    I only used Boston as a comparison because Mark did, but IMO the relief stats are telling when compared to MLB. The Dodgers had the 6th most saves, but also the 5th most of blown saves. The Dodger relievers were tied for the 6th most wins, but also had the 5th most losses. With the offense that Boston had, relief pitching wasn’t nearly as important as it was with the Dodgers. The Red Sox weren’t nearly as reliant on their bullpen as the Dodgers were, but their results generated more wins and less losses.
    .
    Another telling metric for me is inherited runners and inherited runners scored. The Dodgers were 25th in MLB with the number of runners inherited by relievers with 197. Of those 197 inherited runners, 47 scored or 24%; a percentage which tied for best in MLB with Houston. While that by itself is very encouraging, couple that with the number of blown saves and relief losses, and that would indicate that the games were close, and the 47 runs that scored were critical in the loss outcomes.
    .
    The NL West as a division did not fare well in the above metrics.
    Colorado – 32 W, 29 L, 27 BS – Win Differential +3
    LAD – 35 W, 33 L, 26 BS – Win Differential +2
    SFG – 31 W, 30 L, 30 BS – Win Differential +1
    AZ – 23 W, 35 L, 27 BS, Win Differential -12
    .
    With the amount of money spent on the bullpen by Colorado, I am sure they were hoping (expecting better results). Even with that, if they would have had one less blown save, they win the division. It is very clear that Arizona’s bullpen let them down hugely.
    .
    If you do not think that a bullpen is valuable, let’s look at some of the other bullpens of other successful teams.
    .
    Three 100+ win teams:
    Boston – 40-16; +24
    Houston – 31-23; +8
    NYY – 35-20; +15
    .
    Three unexpected 90+ win teams:
    Oakland – 45-17; +28
    Milwaukee – 42-21; +21
    Tampa Bay – 55-36; +19
    .
    Other Contenders:
    Cubs – 36-18; +18
    Atlanta – 30-26; +4
    Phil – 26-26; 0
    .
    A big surprise for me was that Cleveland relievers were 15-29; -14. That was horrid, and they knew it. But they had a 71% save percentage. That seems to indicate that the starting pitching was pretty good for Cleveland. Might that be a reason for Andrew’s interest in Kluber, Carrasco, and Bauer?
    .
    One final note – NYM relievers were 27-36; -9. Perhaps that is why they want Edwin Diaz. Seattle had a+11 reliever win differential and had a 74% save percentage good for 2nd in MLB, behind…Texas’ 75%; Kela and Leclerc. What might have happened if the Dodgers traded for either of those relievers instead of Axford, Rosscup and Madson as I hoped for? We will never know.

    1. My main point was that IF Kenley was Kenleyesque last year, the bullpen would have been a lot different. IF Axford had not broken his leg… He was horrid his first outing and very good his next two before he went down and then Roberts was in love with Madson and overused him. But, it all started with Kenley’s inability to live up to his ability. He gave up 13 HR and a substantial number were inherited runners.

      I am sure that Friedman will acquire a reliever or two, but I really don’t think they have to look outside the organization. If Kenley is healthy and Baez continues along the same path and Floro and Ferguson keep growing, then tyhings are great. If Kenley is bad again, they are screwed!

      1. If all of the players are going to “keep growing” then maybe the Dodgers should just do nothing. They could non-tender Fields, Cingrani, Garcia. Leaving the pitching in the growing arms of:
        .
        Starters: Kershaw/Buehler/Hill/Ryu/Maeda
        .
        Relievers: Jansen/Wood/Stripling/Ferguson/Baez/Alexander/Floro/Chargois
        .
        Position:
        1B – Muncy/Freese
        2B – CT3/Kike’
        SS – Seager
        3B – JT
        LF – Kemp/Joc
        CF- Bellinger
        RF – Puig
        C – Barnes/Farmer
        .
        Of course Verdugo & Toles are back at OKC. Urias is back to extended ST and OKC. Jesen Therrien has no spot. Neither does Santana.
        .
        But they are all Dodgers who will continue to grow, have career years, and nobody will be missing their favorite player. That should bring a WS championship. Works for me.
        .
        Then again,IFthe Queen had balls, she would be King.

        1. I don’t expect all to keep “growing” but some will. I think Cody and Corey will and others will have bad years. I don’t look from improvement from Kemp, Pederson and Muncy. I do look for Barnes to bounce back as well as CT3. I also have a lot of hope for Alenander because it’s not like he throws it over the backstop. He just needs better control… andf not by much.

          I don’t think Farmer is a major league catcher and Kike may be at his ceiling. I’m not looking for career years from anyone. I just see potential for improvement from 4 or 5 players.

          Betts, Martinez, Bogarts and Benintendi all had their best years for Boston last year. Were they career years? I have no clue, but the Dodgers had several players last year who did not fulfill expectations. Is that a pattern or an anomoly? Time will tell.

      2. The bullpen wasn’t good. Period. Jansen wasn’t as good as he had been before, but I still think that 2017 might have been his career season. The rest of the ‘pen simply wasn’t reliable and it had nothing to do with Jansen.

        I agree with AC. I guess that all Dodgers will just have career seasons every year – they will all always get better. No need to improve from outside.

  9. Dan O’Dowd and the guys on MLB Now was saying the same thing as me. Cleveland is trying to get younger and shave payroll while extending their window. Grabbing Wood and Puig makes little sense for them. It backs up what I’m saying which it is the Dodgers pushing those two names fort the same reason. Friedman and Kasten are most likely content being the Atlanta Braves of the 90’s(which is pretty damn good), but at this point maybe not willing to bust through the luxury tax to get a WS Championship.
    ~
    They said Verdugo, Alvarez, and one of the catchers makes more sense or asking for a Bellinger for Kubler. They said the Dodgers value May and Lux the most and May was the guy they refused to deal at the deadline last season. Maeda may make more sense for Cleveland than Wood.

      1. I agree so why not expand it to a MEGA deal. We send Puig, Wood, Stripling, Muncy, Taylor/Kiki, Farmer/Smith, Alvarez, Lux and D J Peters to Cleveland for Gomes, Bauer/ Kluber and……..Jose Ramirez who played 71 games @ 2B with a .980 PCT in 2017.

    1. I just looked at his numbers. You certainly know what you’re getting with him. Very consistent offensive numbers throughout his career. Would be a good 5th OF on a certain type of team but I’m not sure that’s us. That said, I like the thought and hope we’re doing some different things this season to shake it up a bit. If we weren’t so deep in OF I’d give it more thought. But even though things could change, I see our depth chart as:

      LF–Joc/Kemp/Taylor/Verdugo/Toles
      CF–Bellinger/Taylor/Keekay/Toles/Verdugo
      RF–Puig/Kemp/Keekay/Verdugo

      Not sure we have more space for depth, only impact guys.

  10. I wonder what we could get for Edwin Rios? He seems like he might better suited for the AL but I’d love to see him get some at-bats for the big club this year. Some have said he and Connor Joe would get long looks this spring, but Joe wasn’t protected and it’s hard for me to see a situation where Rios makes the team. Maybe if Joc is traded and we want a LH bat on the bench. Idle thoughts for a slow early afternoon . . .

  11. Dodgers reach agreement with Cingrani for $2.7 MM for 2019. Wow – a lot of money for essentially nothing last season. He had shoulder issues – I wonder if he’ll ever recover (hard to overcome shoulder injuries).

      1. Do not include McCreery. He is nowhere close to be a ML candidate. The Dodgers see something, but there are too many ahead of him.

    1. He had an MRI that revealed no structural damage. It was shoulder tendenitis, which just takes rest.

      1. I hope so but that’s not always true. As a guy who has had multiple shoulder surgeries, it usually starts with tendonitis and goes from there. Tendonitis is frequently the first diagnosis for shoulder impingement or rotator cuff tear. If it was just tendonitis, he was sure off for a long time last season.

    1. Although this could be misdirection to annoy machado’s agent. i’m starting to wonder where he’s going to sign. he is an ex-dodger and all. maybe he could be this year don’t-sign-until-mid-february candidate. wherever it is, i’m predicting multiple player opt-outs for both him and harper.

        1. Waaaaay too much money for LAD to part with. I am getting more comfortable with Farmer as the interim back up catcher.

    1. Obviously LAD did not want Gomes. They could have surely done better than 23 year old AA OF Daniel Johnson.

          1. If that same line up comes back, it is going to be a long season.

            We can’t depend on only Corey and Turner, getting hits when runners are in scoring position.

            Most of that depth are not good in these situations.

  12. The Dodgers could be still fixed on Realmuto.

    The only thing I know for sure is that I am sure I know nothing about what Friedman intends to do.

  13. I guess it boils down to just this:

    1, Dodgers trade Barnes and Verdugo for Realmuto (+$7 million)
    2. Dodgers trade Yasiel Puig to TB for Matt Duffy. (-$8 million)
    3. Dodgers trade Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda and Matt Kemp to the Yankees for Giancarlo Stanton. (- $12 million)
    4. Dodgers sign DJ LeMahieu (+$10 Million)

    Lineup:
    1. LeMahieu 2B
    2. Seager SS
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Stanton RF
    5. Realmuto C
    6. Bellinger 1B
    7. Taylor CF
    8. Pederson/Hernandez LF

    1. 1. Barnes and Verdugo is not going to net Realmuto. That is just not happening. Plus, unless you are planning on Farmer being the backup, they will still need a backup.
      .
      2. I mentioned Duffy last year, and I was soundly rebuked because he said he hated the Dodgers, and nobody wanted him.
      .
      3. Friedman is not going to trade 2 ML pitchers. He needs the depth, especially when Hill and Ryu are gone next year (along with Wood and Maeda in this trade). That would leave the rotation of Kershaw/Buehler/Hill/Ryu/Stripling. The Dodgers cannot go through a season without everyone in the rotation going down at least once, and most of the time twice. I guess that Santana would be next man up. Urias is going to be on an innings limit. Nope, they are going to need both Wood and Maeda just in case. Seemingly no SP can start more than 26 games, except Wood who started 27 because he was moved to the bullpen and not allowed to get to 30. Which is why I cannot understand why too many are against Kluber because of his age. He has only pitched 200+ innings for the last 5 consecutive years. Since he should only be scheduled to go about 160-175 for LAD, he should be good to go through November.
      .
      4. I am okay with DJLM. I know Muncy and Kike’ are going to hit 45 HRs, but I still like DJLM. But Friedman is not going to sign a $10MM AAV when LAD is shy of the CBT threshold by $13MM before Maeda’s incentives.
      .
      The Dodgers are losing 3 LHSP (Wood, Hill, Ryu), two RHH OF (Puig Kemp), and another RH bat off the bench (Freese) next year. The Dodgers have 1 LHSP (Urias) for next year, and then…? Yes they have multiple maybes (Santana, May, White, Alvarez) but will they be ready to start next year? But more importantly, the Dodgers have zero RH bats in the system that will be ready. I am sure there will be those who would argue that 200K DJ Peters will be ready. Maybe they should move some of this surplus SP (Wood) and OF (or 1B/2B/3B) for a RH bat for this year and at least two more, just in case 2017 was the outlier for CT3. I only mention Wood because the only one that I would be upsetting would be me, and I do not want upset the Puig/Joc/Toles/Muncy fans.
      .
      And for those who still clamor for Harper, I still do not understand why he is more acceptable than Giancarlo Stanton, when a RH bat is what is needed. Not that LAD will get either one.

      1. I thought part of the plan to trade Wood was to give him a better chance to stay in the rotation and reduce payroll. Didn’t he lose mph on his fastball? Until he gets that back, can he be expected to make a rotation?

        1. Part of my reply was sarcasm. The one thing we learned from the past few years is that Andrew & Co. loves depth and to keep players for that “just in case” moment. Part of me believes that Andrew & Co. thinks that Wood with one year of control and a reduced velo is worth more to LAD than the two lottery tickets they would get for him. Look at what Cleveland received with their trade of Gomes…a position of need for many teams.

  14. 1. I think it takes more than Barnes and Verdugo (maybe Smith and Verdugo)
    2. Can Duffy play 2nd base? Might not need DJLM and can spend that money on the bullpen
    3. Verrry interesting
    4. See 2 above

    1. Remember =- Friedman said he was confident that the Dodgers could compete as constituted. Maybe no new catchers coming to LA?

      1. I would bet my house that there will be at least one new catcher from outside the organization next year. Actually, I need to check with my bank to see if they’ll let me make that bet.

      2. That is exactly what he said. Friedman knows that he really does not have to do anything to win the NL West and I guess that is contending.

  15. Gomes to Nats now official.

    Hunter Strickland a surprise non-tender by the Giants. Gorkys Hernandez too. Kept Joe Panik though.

    1. Strickland seems like a complete tool, but I’d take him in a heartbeat (says a lot for my integrity, I know).

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