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How the Dodgers’ bullpen did in 2021

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It was a great year from a Dodgers bullpen that featured a turning carousel of players

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It was a fantastic season from the Dodgers’ bullpen in 2021. It seemed like everyone in the organization pitched an inning at some point, which is almost true considering Justin Turner took the mound for an inning at one point.

Here’s a look at how the bullpen did overall and what we can expect for the postseason.

Their 2021 campaign

For a team that seemed to be having a bullpen game at least once a week, LA’s bullpen was right in the middle tier of innings pitched. They were 14th in baseball at 608 23 innings. Although LA was missing starters all season, when they did have starting pitching it usually meant their starters were going deep into games.

The bullpen tied with the Giants for the Major-League lead in saved with 56. Kenley Jansen led the way with 38, with nine other players combining for 18 more. Per Eric’s article from earlier today, 10 different Dodgers recorded saves in 2021, the most in franchise history since 1980.

The bullpen had an ERA of 3.16, the second best across baseball. They averaged 9.64 strikeouts per nine innings, the 10th best in baseball. At 3.98 walks per nine innings, the Dodgers as the 14th worst rate.

If you’re somebody who is really into ‘holds’, the Dodgers had 103 of them, the fourth most in baseball.


Usage

The top guys

Blake Treinen - 72 games

Kenley Jansen - 69 games

Phil Bickford - 56 games

Used a good amount

Joe Kelly - 48 games

Victor Gonzalez - 44 games

Alex Vesia - 41 games

David Price - 39 games

Brusdar Graterol - 34 games

Contributed a good chunk

Jimmy Nelson - 28 games

Corey Knebel - 27 games

Garrett Cleavinger - 21 games

Mitch White - 21 games

Justin Bruihl - 21 games

Dennis Santana - 16 games

Edwin Uceta - 14 games

They were on the team at one point

Shane Greene - 9 games

Nate Jones - 8 games

Evan Phillips - 7 games

Darien Nunez - 6 games

Jake Reed - 6 games

James Sherfy - 4 games

Neftali Feliz - 3 games

Conner Greene - 2 games

Andrew Vasquez - 2 games

Mike Kickham - 1 game

Yefry Ramirez - 1 game

Kevin Quackenbush - 1 game


Wild Card/Playoff prediction

With a one-game Wild Card, it will be very interesting to see how the bullpen will be used. Assuming Max Scherzer is able to get you at least six innings, the guys who we could see seem fairly obvious.

Kenley Jansen and Blake Treinen in some combo is sure to be a lock, regardless of what inning it is. If needed, I think Alex Vesia has proven to be the go-to left-handed option out of the pen as well. If the Dodgers need more than 2-3 innings from their bullpen, some potential options include Joe Kelly and Phil Bickford. I also wouldn’t be totally surprised to see the Dodgers turn to Julio Urias if absolutely needed.

If the Dodgers are able to advance to the NLDS, who will make the cut?

Starters:

Max Scherzer

Walker Buehler

Julio Urias

Tony Gonsolin

Locks:

Kenley Jansen

Blake Treinen

Joe Kelly

Alex Vesia

Phil Bickford

Corey Knebel

Wild Cards:

Justin Bruihl

David Price

Brusdar Graterol

Evan Phillips

Mitch White