Results tagged ‘ Javy Guerra ’
Last time we covered the Starting Pitching and what a break down that was. Now it’s time to move to the Dodgers Bullpen. This has also been a focal point in the off-season outside of Starting Pitching. Dodgers went out and started off with re-signing Brandon League to a 3 year $22.5 Million Dollar Contract but even after that the Dodgers were still looking for left hand pitching which was something they were lacking due to Scott Elbert being out with an elbow injury and Randy Choate signing with St Louis. Los Angeles would go ahead and sign left-handed pitcher JP Howell. This is still a question mark but will the off-season additions as well as call-up’s from last season better the Bullpen? Lets go ahead and break it all down.
2012 Review: Before the start of last season you might as well had held your breath with a Dodger relever came out and yeah I was one of them. The Dodgers biggest question mark was with the bullpen who were indeed of a lot of things. Once the season started the bullpen came out ready to go and were impressing people for the most part. Javy Guerra and Kenley Jansen picked up where they left of from the 2011 season and Ronald Belisario came into his own. Scott Elbert and Josh Lindbloom were also solid early on in the season. Could the Bullpen be proving us wrong. Well things kind of went south after as the season went, Injuries hit, Inconsistent play, blown saves you name it. Javy Guerra lost his starting spot due to inconsistency, Jamie Wright and Matt Guerrier were adding more fuel to the fire in games, and not to mention that Kenley Jansen (irregular heart beat) and Scott Elbert (elbow) fell to injuries that hurt the Dodgers through the mid-point of the season. Things did have an upside though through Trades and call-ups. The Bullpen saw call-ups of Shawn Tolleson and Paco Rodriguez and the Dodgers acquiring Randy Choate and Brandon League in deals to help the bullpen. Josh Lindbloom would be traded to the Phillies in a deal that brought Shane Vctorino. After all the moves it wasn’t enough to provide the lift the Dodgers needed to reach the post-season. The Dodgers Bullpen ERA wise was Top 3 in the MLB at 3.35 (2nd in the NL) and 10th in the NL in saves.
Off-Season Moves: Relief pitching was a big thing that needed to be addressed. Outside of Starting pitching you can make a case that this was a important need here. The Dodgers re-signed Brandon League who was solid in 2012 with the Dodgers. In his 28 Games with L.A. He was 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA and had 6 Saves as a closer when Jansen went down to injury. The Dodgers didn’t really do much with it’s signings but they did lose Randy Choate in Free Agency (Signed with St Louis) leaving Los Angeles lacking a lefty out the pen (Elbert and Guerrier injured).
JP Howell- This was pretty much the only key move made to help the Bullpen. Howell, who played with Tampa Bay last season, Was signed to a one year deal with the Dodgers. JP is a solid pick up after losing Randy Choate to Free Agency. A left handed vet is what Howell will bring and with Elbert out this signing was much needed.
3 Questions to be answered:
Starting Pitchers in the Bullpen?- Last post I talked about Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano, and Aaron Harang being involved in trades. While I still believe that It’s not Farfetched that we could see them coming out the bullpen. You can never have too much pitching but with the depth of the Starting rotation there could be some starting pitchers Not Named Kershaw or Greinke that get moved. Ted Lilly already made note that he’ll be willing to moved to the Bullpen so that solves that for the most part.
Will there be consistency?- In baseball there’s 162 games so teams will have bad games BUT the Dodgers bullpen do have a hard time gaining consistency. There’s games where the Bullpen keep the Dodgers in the game and times where they become the “Box of Pain” and it gets painful to watch. If the Dodgers to win the Division ad some then they’ll have to be more consistent. They’ll need it from everyone in there.
Will the closers close?
The Dodgers went through 3-4 closers due to injury or inconsistency. Most of the games the Dodger closers have blown save opportunities. There has to be some consistency there between Jansen or League. Dodgers as a team had 40 Saves which was 18th in the MLB. Los Angeles will have to have more than that if they want to win the Division.
Players to Watch:
Javy Guerra- Last season Javy Guerra was the closer come opening day and was bound to have a good season but few games in Guerra lost it. He started to get inconsistent and soon lost his job to Jansen. Javy was sent to AAA for a little bit but was brought back up and moved as a middle reliever. Most likely Javy will be on the club come opening day as a middle reliever but weather he can keep that consistency has to be seen.
Kenley Jansen- The reason Jansen is on here is because of health. Jansen had an irregular heart beat which sidelined him. Now it’s about how will he pitch after it. Jansen had some issues with consistency last season but wasn’t pitching bad. I do believe that he will have a good season next season but his health is a concern.
Shawn Tolleson- Shawn Tolleson was called up last season for the Phillies series due to the number of injuries that struck the Dodgers at the time. Tolleson tends to get himself into a jam at times but can get himself out. He COULD make the club come opening day but who knows what the Dodgers will think come that time. No doubt we could have an upside.
Overall: The Dodgers bullpen was one if the best in the MLB last season. I believe this group they can repeat that and maybe better but they need to be consistent. They’ll have bad games and slumps but it can be a content things. The Dodgers bullpen have question marks but are also proven.
Next On Deck- Dodgers 2013 Preview: The Infield
The Dodgers currently are one of the top teams in the NL right now on top of the NL West Playing good baseball. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are hot and the Starting Pitching has been unbelievably good. So what’s the problem? Well As I mentioned during Spring Training the Bullpen is the one issue I’m still Worried about. Through this season it seems like we hold our breath when its someone outside of Kenley Jansen, Javi Guerra, and Josh Lindbloom comes out the Pen. Jamey Wright, Scott Elbert, MacDougal, Guerrier makes me sweat every time they get into the game and really that’s not good at all especially in one run games.
Yes I know the offense has to get insurance runs to prevent the worry but the Bullpen also has to play a part to help out instead of hurting. This was a story last year and is still some what of an issue. Can we trust the rest of the Bullpen? The Dodgers can’t rely on Guerra Jansen and Lindbloom every single game. Someone HAS to step up and take some pressure off the team. I’m know we won’t get a constant 1..2..3 Inning but all I ask is to stop giving up the game. With a Defense behind them doing what they can to Keep the Dodgers in the game or ahead should be less difficult.
Like I stated earlier Dodgers should also get some insurance runs to help out the pen and take less pressure off but the Pen should also do what they can to take less pressure off the Batters as well instead of adding to it. Its a long season so there’s time to improve and stay on top so not panic button is needed but there has to be improvement not regression.
Dodgers starting off the season on Fire going 9-1 making it their best Start since 1988…That was the year they won the World Series. After All that the Dodgers have went through this is a start that the Dodgers and it’s fans could use. Now not to rain on parades but the last time the Dodgers had a great start was 2005 where the Dodgers jumped out of the gate at 12-2 but ended the season at 71-91 which was one of the Franchises worst records but what makes this so different is that the Dodgers have the players to do damage. I’ve heard it all from people regarding this start and while Many are excited about the 9-1 start others are skeptical stating that they’ve only played two teams that the Dodgers Should handle. I for one am Excited at the 9-1 Start but see room for improvement but what can you say?
I understand that we’re 10 games into a 162 Game season and anything can happen but rallying the wins for this Ball club won’t hurt. I will throw out one argument is the whole “Look at who the Dodgers played” or They’re suppose to be them comments. Its hard to go 9/10 In Baseball against Any Team in Baseball and the way the Dodgers Did it makes this start impressive. The Dodgers will be tested this week against on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers and get the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals (Yes I said the Nationals) at Dodgers Stadium before hitting a tough month of May. The 9-1 Start is a good build in momentum leading up to the tough games.
Why are the Dodgers on this good start. Well 10 Games in the Dodgers are playing really good Baseball. offensively the Dodgers are getting great production from Matt Kemp who has been continuing to play out of his mind and Andre Ethier is redeeming himself from a not so good 2011 Season and Juan Rivera is still that solid player to back them up but it’s not only those three stepping up to help. Mark Ellis, AJ Ellis, and YES Juan Uribe are also contributing with their bats. The Dodgers however need Dee Gordon to get on base to provide another Base Stealing threat for the Dodgers but Dee will have to have better plate discipline for that to happen. Pitching has also been pretty good. While Clayton Kershaw has yet to record a win others behind him has stepped up to help provide the wins. Chad Billingsley in two games has played like he did in his All-Star years proving to be a Solid number two. Ted Lilly in his first start back from injury and Chris Capuano has really stepped up as well. While some like the Bullpen right now Outside of Javy Guerra, Kenley Janson, and Josh Lindbloom ,who has done a great job so far, Im not yet sold on the Bullpen but so far has done a good job.
What does this start mean? Well for the Dodgers and Dodger fans it means a lot. After enduring what went down last season and the off-season with McCourt the Dodgers and the City of Los Angeles are riding a high off Momentum. Momentum that has started with Magic’s Group Purchase of the Dodgers and continuing with the Dodgers play and if the Dodgers keep this up then sky is the limit for the team. Now the Dodgers won’t sweep everyone or win every series but if the Dodgers can take 2 of 3 or 3 of 4 in most series games and the NL West then they’re in the Playoffs and add another NL West title. Los Angeles is buzzing thanks to the Boy in Blue. Something Special is happening in Los Angeles Baseball Fans.
For those who play Fantasy Baseball like myself looking into Spring Training and picking players who could bring you wins and a Fantasy League title can be a hard process. Well look no further than here for your Fantasy Fix here (On the Dodgers end that is). Looking at the Spring Training games and Projecting what players could help you win and theres quite a few who could put up solid numbers, Just enough to get you by. While some maybe Obvious others will really make you think. Just a heads up Im exluding Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw because those are no brainers right there.
OF Andre Ethier- I truely believe that Ethier will have a big year this year. This spring he has impressed a lot of people and can only carry over to the season (As we hope). If you’re drafting Don’t take him too early. Ethier will likely be there around the 4th and 6th round. 5th round would be best to take him. He’ll put up solid numbers if you’re loking for RBI’s, HR, and Batting AVG.
OF/1B- Juan Rivera- Last year Rivera had a solid year with the Dodgers. Second Half of the season He put up some decent numbers to help the Dodgers. People who picked him up also loved the year he had as well. This spring he struggled some what but I can see Rivera picking it up in time for the season. Juan Rivera will likely get picked up late in Drafts so there shouldn’t be a urgancy to scoop him up in a hurry. Just like Ethier you can expect Rivera to give you RBI’s, HR, and Batting AVG Stats.
SS Dee Gordon-Looking for Steals? Dee Gordon is your guy for that! Dee Gordon ,who wowed fans with his Speed stealing bases, Looking to add on to last season. During Spring training Dee improved getting on base by hitting into the gaps and successful bunts. Another guy you can pick up between the 5th and 6th round of a draft. Gordon will help with Steals in a BIG way this season and if the chance is there then get to it.
RP Kenley Jansen- Looking for a under the radar pick for the Bullpen? Kenley Jansen is your guy. Jansen who is a setup Pitcher had a monster year with the Dodgers Striking out 61 Batters in 32.2 Innings and having 0.55 ERA at the time before going down with a Irregular Heartbeat. Spring Training it looked as if he Didn’t lose a step. Likely Jansen will be a steal for you if you can’t get that pitcher you had your eye on.
CL- Javy Gurrea-Javy Guerra closed for the Dodgers last year and did wonders closing for LA. Guerra along with Jansen make a deadly 1-2 Punch in the Bullpen. You can’t go wrong picking Guerra if you don’t get Jansen. Guerra I believe will put up solid numbers for fantasy teams. Guerra will likely be there later on in the Draft so no need to rush for him.