Second-base is the most advertised need for the Los Angeles Dodgers which has caused people to ignore the fact their bullpen still needs to be filled out, primarily the 8th-inning setup man role. The Los Angeles Dodgers have been linked with Neftali Feliz; but even outside of him there are still a few viable arms.
During the 2016 MLB season, the Los Angeles Dodgers of all teams had the best regular season bullpen ERA. Let that sink in. Ready? The unit, which was the team’s Achilles heel in 2014 and 2015 was actually a strength. They not only paced the National League with a 3.35 ERA but all of MLB. The bullpen also had the second best Opponent’s Batting Average Against. They also had the most strikeouts of all bullpens and were the most heavily used. This is maybe why they wore down during the 2016 NLCS. Even before the NLCS there was always uneasiness around when the bullpen was in the game. Even with the results, all Dodger fans were on the edge of the seats because they stil couldn’t trust them fully (except for Jansen of course).
The bullpen is anchored by Kenley Jansen, arguably the best relief pitcher in baseball. However there was one pitcher who was a revelation in that bullpen and that was Joe Blanton. The 36 year-old threw 80 innings as a non-closer and compiled a 2.48 ERA with an even 80 strikeouts. The interesting part of the bullpen last year was that no one, outside of Kenley Jansen, had an assigned role.
Blanton was the unofficial setup man but would come in during the middle innings when needed. Vice versa for other relievers. However, he is a free agent now meaning the Los Angeles Dodgers really need to strengthen the bullpen and hopefully with someone who can serve as a setup man and get the ball to closer Kenley Jansen. There are a few under-the-radar names that could fill that role. One name that has been thrown around, as of today, is Neftali Feliz.
There are other names available as well.