Fox News reports: Dodgers bullpen is leaning heavily to the right
If left field seems barren as the Mojave Desert, the Dodgers bullpen is a veritable metropolis.
It can be a tad confusing. During the second half, the Dodgers’ No. 1 problem was their inability to mount a consistent offense. To this frustrated group, they have added second baseman Juan Uribe. That’s all, folks.
Meanwhile, the bullpen is more crowded than George Clooney’s little black book. Arms here, arms there, arms everywhere. At least of the right-handed variety.
Certainly, last season the bullpen was a staggering disappointment. Relievers who had performed well the previous year -- Jonathan Broxton, George Sherrill, Ramon Troncoso, Ronald Belisario, Jeff Weaver, Ramon Troncoso -- almost went into a group funk.
Hong-Chih Kuo performed better than anyone had a right to expect, and Kenley Jansen shocked everyone with his stunning emergence. End of good news.
Now with the exception of Sherrill, and probably Weaver, they have all those arms back, plus they have Vicente Padilla, Matt Guerrier and Blake Hawksworth.
Say what you will about general manager Ned Colletti, but he seems to learn from his mistakes.
Not having a fifth starter killed the Dodgers in the first half, and now he has his entire rotation filled out, plus Padilla available as a swing man. If he showed too much faith in his returning bullpen a year ago, now he’s in the surplus arms business.
And still can’t be done, can he?
Because there is still a real need for a second left-hander. Kuo is the lefty island, and he’s standing there with tenuous trust placed in that rebuilt elbow.
So Colletti adds Guerrier, who is a fine relief pitcher, but he’s 32 and got three years and $12 million. Multi-year deals for relievers are always a risky business, and this is money you thought might go toward finding a left fielder.
Another right-handed reliever did not scream pressing need. The Dodgers might carry eight relievers to start the season, but typically will go with seven.
You count: Broxton, Kuo, Guerrier, Jansen, Padilla, Belisario, Hawksworth, Troncoso and unnamed left-hander.
At the least, I’d say Troncoso was in some real trouble. Maybe somebody is dealt to bring in a lefty, or maybe they just cross their fingers really hard and give Scott Elbert a shot.
It’s only December, but for now there remains a black hole in left and a bevy of right-handed relievers. It’s only December, but it’s confusing.
-- Steve Dilbeck