Just two seasons ago, Blake Treinen was arguably the best reliever in all of baseball. He appeared in 68 games back in 2018, putting up video-game like numbers.
He went 9-2 with a 0.78 ERA out of the bullpen for the Oakland A’s. Treinen finished the season with 38 saves, and also posted an unbelievable ERA+ of 531. Yes, I had to double-check that to make sure it was correct, too. He also had a 1.82 FIP and 0.834 WHIP, while posting a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly five-to-one.
His 2019 was a disaster, as he lost his job as the closer and saw his ERA rise to five. Now, in 2020, he gets an opportunity with the Dodgers to try and show he’s capable of being that reliever from 2018. However, Treinen isn’t worried about regaining his closer role. He’s honestly not worried about any role, to be honest. He’s just excited to pitch for a team who he thinks is the best he’s ever seen.
“I think you look at the talent in this organization 1 through 40, that stands out to me,” Treinen said when speaking to reporters on Sunday. “Easily the deepest I’ve ever seen. I think this organization has done a great job.”
In regards to having arguably the best offense in all of baseball, the Dodgers have done a great job putting together an amazing bullpen. With so many guys that could easily close games for another team, Treinen is just focused on whatever the team needs from him.
“I think somewhere along the lines of facing a hitter and getting him out, that’s all I know,” Treinen said with a smile when asked what his role is for the season. “They don’t really talk too much about any roles. The biggest thing is making sure everyone is healthy and we’re as prepared as possible. There are so many good arms in this bullpen that you can’t sit there and nitpick about where you want to be.”
Dave Roberts called Treinen a leverage reliever who can get both righties and lefties out.
“He’s a fantastic guy, I love talking to him,” Roberts said. “He’s a tremendous worker, guys love him on the team. I think he feels comfortable here in a Dodgers uniform. A guy like him, whose had so much success, being open to whatever we ask of him is very helpful to all of us.”
The majority of work Treinen has gotten during his career has come in the ninth inning, though he does have plenty of experience throwing in the seventh and eighth innings as well. Whenever he’s needed to come in, Treinen will be more than ready. Again, he’s just excited to be a part of arguably the best bullpen in the National League.
“You got one of the greatest closers of all-time in Kenley [Jansen]. Joe Kelly throws 100 mph with a nasty breaking ball. [Pedro] Baez and [Brusdar] Graterol. The list goes on. You can rattle those guys off. Would you say in a 60-game spread is it more important to have an 8th inning role, 9th inning role or 7th inning role? Or, have the ability to throw four or five 8th/9th inning guys and shorten the game? I don’t know what the approach is going to be, but I’d say we’re sitting pretty good as long as guys stay healthy and we’re able to go out and compete. I’d take our chances against any bullpen in the league.”