|(photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)|
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Suddenly the Dodger Bullpen is Extremely Weak
About a month ago the Dodger bullpen was what many considered to be the strongest part of their roster. Jansen was a light’s out closer. Belisario had an ERA in the low 1’s, Scott Elbert was a solid lefty used to take down the left handed bats. Josh Lindblom was often used as the 7th or 8th inning stopper, in which he succeeded. Even Javy Guerra had returned from the D.L. to some success. Add to that mix, Jamey Wright who had proved himself as a valuable addition this year as the long man. Shawn Tolleson came up from the minors and had a stretch of consecutive appearances when he didn’t yield a run.
How quickly things have changed.
With the Dodger medical staff’s announcement today that Kenley Jansen has a recurring heart issue, he may be out for the season. Suddenly the closer role in the Dodger pen is a big question mark.
Ronald Belisario has been far from stellar this past month. Now in place as the closer, Belisario in that role shows that the pen lacks significant depth. Guerra isn’t even on the roster now, and returning him to that closer role doesn’t restore much confidence. The pen has been exposed these past three games in Colorado.
It is a major weakness now and something that Colletti will not be able to fix at this late juncture of the season. As much as we are concerned with the sputtering offense (with the exception of today’s 10 run outburst), the loss of Jansen, Elbert, Guerra and Lindblom is troubling.
I hate to say it but pitching on this club may be it’s undoing. It doesn’t matter that the team can trot out 6 All Star bats in it’s starting lineup. If the pitching staff can’t over perform, this club probably isn’t going anywhere. We saw that in Colorado this week. No team should be struggling to hold a 10-1 lead in the 8th inning, much less a team that we expect to make it to the World Series.