Top 5 Worst Los Angeles Dodgers’ Relievers of First Half
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Top 5 Worst Relievers of First Half
If you have been following my articles on the Los Angeles Dodgers this year, you will have likely picked up on a reoccurring motif: the Dodger bullpen has been extremely weak in the first half.
As the Dodgers enter the All-Star break with a 47-47 record, many of their losses can be attributed to weak offensive performances and injuries. In their 47 losses, the Dodgers offense has put together only 2.49 runs per game, bad enough to place second worst in the NL West. You can read more about their injuries troubles here.
Alas, the team’s collective hitting and injury woes have not been the worst part of the first 94 games. In that span, the bullpen has put together a collective win-loss record of 16-17. Some might say, “Hey, that is not so bad. They are almost .500.” The problem lies within the fact that they have a win-loss record. A pitching coach would love to see his bullpen staff with a 0-0 record because that means they did not give up any leads.
That brings me to the next point of concern within the Dodger bullpen: blown saves. Dodger relievers have combined for a total of 25 saves and 16 blown saves for a save percentage of only 61 percent. This means that four out of every 10 times Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sends a reliever to the mound with a lead, he will blow that lead. That is not a comforting statistic to have floating in the back of your mind.
Last but certainly not least is the bullpen ERA. Having pitched a total of 268 innings and allowed 122 earned runs, the Dodgers’ relievers have a bulky ERA of 4.10. That is such a high total for the men who are supposed to come in and get the job done for a quick inning or less.
Nevertheless, there have been a few highlights in the Dodgers bullpen. Kenley Jansen has been a rock in recent games, holding down an ERA of 2.38 and registering nine saves while blowing only three. Paco Rodriguez has pitched over 30 innings and has only allowed nine earned runs. Rodriguez also has only allowed 28 percent of his inherited batters to score this season. Finally, J.P. Howell continues to throw solid innings as a middle reliever as he boasts the lowest ERA of all Dodger relievers at 2.33.
With the highlights addressed, we must now turn to the guys who have failed the Dodgers miserably this year. I present to you the five worst Dodger relievers of the first half of the season.
Isaac Comelli is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @IsaacComelli, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+. You can see all of his articles here.
The 34-year-old veteran has never been a standout reliever, but the Dodgers certainly hoped to get more out of him than they did. During his three years as a Dodger, Matt Guerrier posted a measly 4.24 ERA. The Dodger organization had finally seen enough and at the beginning of this month, Guerrier was traded for Carlos Marmol in a trade that can mostly be described as irrelevant. To add insult to injury, since joining the Chicago Cubs, Guerrier has thrown in six games with only one earned run allowed.
Ever since Eric Gagne set the MLB record for most consecutive saves at 84, every Dodger closer has seemed sub-par. Brandon League has not been an exception to that. After coming to the Dodgers part way through 2012, League became the Dodgers designated closer this last season. Unfortunately, 22 earned runs in only 31.2 innings pitched make for a 6.25 ERA. The only action League sees these days is in games that the Dodgers have large leads he cannot possibly blow before Mattingly can yank him.
The right-handed Australian only managed to pitch 11.1 innings in relief before the Dodgers sent him to the minors. In that time, he managed to do a lot of damage, allowing an ERA of 6.35. The most impressive thing about Peter Moylan’s terrible numbers was his ability to shoot himself in the foot. In his 10 appearances, Moylan only inherited six total runners and only let one of those runners score. However, he allowed 44 percent of his 52 batters faced to hit or walk, giving him a bloated WHIP of 1.94.
Most people did not expect much out of Josh Wall and those people got exactly what they expected. In only seven innings pitched, Wall managed to let 14 earned runs score. If you thought it could not get worse than Moylan’s WHIP, think again. Wall allowed 3.29 walks plus hits per inning pitched this season. With an ERA of 18.00, it did not take long before the Dodgers got rid of him. The only positive to Josh Wall is that he was a part of the trade with the Miami Marlins which brought Ricky Nolasco to Los Angeles. You can read my take on this trade here.
Javy Guerra’s 2013 numbers are not as bad as Josh Wall’s, but the disappointment and let down this former Dodgers closer has brought to the team merits the No. 1 spot on this list. I could hear pitching coach Rick Honeycutt shouting from the dugout, “You were the chosen one!” a la Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The 27-year-old righty from Texas had a fantastic rookie season for the Dodgers in 2011 with a 2.31 ERA and 21 saves. 2012 was not as good, but Guerra still posted decent numbers. Guerra lost his closing position to Kenley Jansen that year and has had lackluster appearances all season in 2013.
With only 10.2 innings pitched and an ERA of 6.75, Guerra has the worst ERA for any Dodger pitcher with more than 7 innings pitched this year. It took little time for Mattingly to send Guerra to the minors and he has not come back up since then.