Matt Guerrier in the middle: There needs to be more there
In some areas, right-hander Matt Guerrier was exactly what the Dodgers thought they had bought over the winter. In other areas, not so much.
And because they went three years and $12 million for the reliever, people tend to notice the not so much.
On the season, Guerrier went 4-3 with a 4.07 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP and one save. It was the sixth consecutive season Guerrier saved exactly one game. He is also the only reliever to have appeared in 70 games in each of the last five seasons. There is certainly consistency there.
But the ERA was significantly higher than the 3.17 and 2.36 he had posted the previous two seasons with the Twins. And also less than impressive was allowing 19 of 41 inherited runners to score.
Middle relievers got expensive in the past offseason, and it’s safe to say the Dodgers were expecting more from their investment. And apparently both Guerrier and Manager Don Mattingly believe there’s more there for the 33-year-old.
Said Mattingly to reporters the day after the season ended: "He told me he didn't throw the way he thinks he's capable. I told him in spring, 'Don't come here thinking you've got anything to prove to anybody,' but in Minnesota everybody knew him and what he could do. He comes here and he's trying to prove to us and the fans.
"He said he felt like he wasn't himself. He expects to be more consistent, better with runners on base. He said he's better than this, and I think he'll be better next year."
Better would be a good thing. A little "wow" factor would be nice too, but right now, the Dodgers would happily settle for consistency.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier works against the Rockies in Colorado. Credit: Justin Edmonds / Getty Images