AdministratorJanuary 20, 2021 at 9:37 am
With Kirby Yates headed to the Blue Jays and the Dodgers haven’t been connected to Brad Hand in a while what other options are there?
We heard the other day the Dodgers were interested in Jeremy Jeffress who could fill a middle relief role. There is also Trevor Rosenthal, Alex Colome, Mark Melancon, Jake Mcgee, Justin Wilson, and Joakim Soria.
Trevor Rosenthal is a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher who has closing experience. He was the Cardinals closer in the mid-2010s and then was the closer last year for the Royals and Padres. He had 11 saves last year while only blowing one. He had a horrible 2019 but the Royals gave him a shot and he got back on track in 2020. He struck 38 batters in 24 innings, he also significantly dropped his walk rate which was an issue. There’s a risk that his command issues will arise again but he’s a pitcher that throws his fastball at 98 mph and has the electric stuff to be great in the pen. The Dodgers could definitely benefit from having another late(ish) inning reliever.
Alex Colome is a 32-year-old right-hander who is coming off a season where he had an Era of 0.81and had 12 saves in 13 opportunities. His strikeout rate is declining pretty quickly and he’s losing velocity on his best pitch his cutter, while also his walk rate is going up. So how did he manage to not allow runs despite that? Luck probably had a little to do with it but also despite his strikeout rate declining he still gets swings and misses just cant put hitters away with the K. His cutter induces really weak contact and ground balls, plus in his 23 innings, he didn’t allow a home run in 2020 and has been pretty good with limiting them his career. Much like Rosenthal, there are command issues and some risk but it’s encouraging that he limits home runs, that he induces weak contact and he has 42 saves in the last 2 seasons in 46 opportunities. Not bad at all.
Jake Mcgee was with the Dodgers last season. He had good years in Tampa before signing with the Rockies where he was just bad. He definitely had a bounce-back 2020 where he struck out an absurd 42% of batters he faced. He’s 34 and the Dodgers might need another lefty however a more reliable one would be better. Mcgee limited contact last year but when hitters hit the ball they were rocking it all over the yard. He had good moments last year but he’s likely someone you pass on.
Mark Melancon is 36 but has some closing experience, his best years in 2015 and 2016 recording 51 saves for the Pirates and 47 saves between the Pirates and Nationals. In the last 2 years, he’s combined for 23 saves in 25 opportunities. He didn’t blow a save in 2019 and blew 2 in 2020. He was going through a stretch prior to 2019 where he was blowing saves constantly despite his numbers being pretty decent. He’s not a strikeout guy by any stretch, his strikeout percentage is near the worst in the league but he also induces ground balls at a percentage near the top of the league. He has 205 career saves, but it’s possible his closing days are behind him. But if the Dodgers go for a closer by committee in 2021 he could fill in a few opportunities as well as Knebel, Jansen, and Treinen.
Joakim Soria much like Melancon is also 36 but had himself a pretty decent 2020 he had an Era of 2.82 but was able to induce weak contact he missed barrels and only gave up 1 home run in his 23 innings of work. Despite being in the same pen as Liam Hendriks he managed 3 saves. He has 223 career saves so he has experience there. In fact, he’s 4th on the active saves list behind Kimbrel, Jansen, and Chapman. He’s not much of a closer now but he still manages to pitch in late-game situations. His big issues are his strikeout rate is down and his walk rate was up. He didn’t have a good 2018 or 2019 but had a bit of a bounce-back in 20 despite some things. He has the experience, could he help the Dodgers?
Finally, we have left-hander Justin Wilson who’s 33 years old. He’s had an up and down career Era wise but his expected Era has actually been really steady in the 3’s his whole career. This past year with the Mets he had a 3.66 Era in 20 innings of work. He struck out 10 per 9 but also walked 4 per 9 and gave up almost a hit an inning. The good news is he’s had some bad luck he doesn’t get hit hard, in fact, top 8% in baseball in that aspect. The other good part about Wilson is since there’s a 3 batter minimum he actually pitches better against right-handers. They hit .218 against him while they slug .329 and left-handers hit .233 while they slug .333 so he’s consistent against both. He relies on his 4 seam and cutter and has been a pretty solid set-up man in his career. A solid and reliable late-inning lefty is something I think the Dodgers need and since Hand is likely going elsewhere, Justin Wilson makes a lot of sense.
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