I've always liked the idea of a solid bullpen. This is probably because I grew up in the 1990s and early 2000s when the Dodgers had an awful bullpen and a Cy Young closer, respectively. The Dodger bullpen of 2011 was particularly intriguing because of Kenley Jansen's record-breaking strikeout rate, and the amount of young, team-controlled talent that the Dodgers rolled out onto the field. So I've decided to break down the Dodger bullpen and give them report cards. I used multiple criteria, but the biggest factors I decided to pay attention to were high-leverage situations and performance vs. replacement level. Feel free to agree, disagree, or just say whatever input you have in the comments. I'm looking at full time relievers only (No Ely, Eovaldi, et al). Grades after the jump.
Kenley Jansen, RHP
Age: 23 IP: 53.2
Pitching WAR: 1
A grade lower than perfect would've been improper for a guy who has firmly established himself as an elite reliever in 2011, while making less than 500,000 dollars. Jansen gave the Dodgers a full win above replacement level from a guy who pitched only an average number of innings out of the pen. (His stint in AAA and the arrhythmic DL adventure was responsible for that.) According to aLI Jansen's pitching situations were average in terms of high or low leverage. His strikeout to walk ratio was 2nd on the Dodgers; only Clayton Kershaw had a better K/BB ratio. Congratulations, Kenley, I hope you stay a Dodger for a long time.
Javy Guerra, RHP
Age: 25 IP: 46.2
Pitching WAR: 1.4
Javy Guerra tied for the bullpen pitching WAR lead, and did it in high-leverage situations. His strikeout to walk ratio was solid, but not spectacular. On the bright side, though, he had a low walk rate, had a very low home run rate, did an excellent job of limiting opponents to singles when he did allow hits, and was a really good all-around pitcher. Not bad for someone making under the (old) major league minimum. He gets an A for being the bullpen MVP, even if he doesn't necessarily have the most talent on the Dodgers.