Last offseason, the Dodgers took a gamble by signing reliever Blake Treinen to a one-year contract. Just a few years prior, you could make the case that Treinen was the best reliever out of the bullpen in all of baseball. However, 2019 was a different story.
He struggled greatly during his final season in Oakland, as he lost his closer job and posted an ERA of just under 5.00. After setting career-highs all across the board in 2018, the former closer suffered career-lows all across the board in 2019.
Overall, I think we can say the gamble paid off for the Dodgers.
Looking at Treinen’s numbers across the board in 2020, they were pretty decent. However, a shortened season really can affect the numbers. For the most part, he was great for the Dodgers all season long.
Through his first 17 games with LA, Treinen looked like the pitcher he was back in 2018, with the exception of his strikeout numbers. His ERA was 1.04, one of the best among National League relievers. Opponents were hitting only .169 off of him too. Though, through 17 1⁄3 innings he did only have 14 strikeouts and had issued seven walks. Nevertheless, he was still a solid and reliable option out of the bullpen.
A three-run outing on September 5 really bumped up his numbers. Then later in September, he allowed five runs in a combined 1 1⁄3 innings that really saw his numbers take a hit. As I mentioned, the shortened season could really affect the stats for pitchers, as one or two bad outings can nearly wipe out your solid season. For example, if you were to take out his three bad outings on the season, Treinen would have posted a 1.13 ERA over the course of 24 games. All of a sudden, he’d be in contention for Reliever of the Year.
In the postseason, Treinen became one of LA’s most reliable pitchers. He appeared in 11 total games for the Dodgers. During his first four outings, he threw 3 1⁄3 innings of scoreless ball and had two holds.
Things went off the rails for him in Game 1 of the NLCS, as he allowed three runs in the ninth inning. He settled down after that, as he threw two scoreless innings for the Dodgers in Game 5 and then threw two scoreless innings in Game 7 of the series.
He threw a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts in Game 3 of the World Series, and then got the save in Game 5 after throwing a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.
Stats: 3-3, 3.86 ERA, 25 2⁄3 IP, 22 SO, 1.21 WHIP, 3.15 FIP, 111 ERA+, 2.75 SO/BB
Game of the year
Treinen appeared in 11 games for the Dodgers during the postseason, and his biggest outing came in his final performance. Asked to close things down in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series, Treinen shut the door with a scoreless inning, including two strikeouts.
Treinen is currently a free-agent. There’s a chance the Dodgers decide to bring him back, but with Wednesday’s acquisition of Corey Knebel, it looks more unlikely.