Christian Petersen/Getty Images
I know he's technically a starter, but unless there is a plague of injuries to the eight-deep starting rotation, Fife's only chance at the big leagues with the Dodgers in 2013 is out of the bullpen. He was good as a spot starter last year but could really improve upon his performance with runners in scoring position. That's easier said than done, but a 6.23 ERA in those situations is pretty ugly.
Elbert has a little help in 2013, as free-agent lefty J.P. Howell will join him and Paco Rodriguez in the 'pen. Elbert was the only go-to lefty we had for most of last season before going down with an arm injury. When healthy, he was dominant, especially at home. But I'd like to see him bring his road ERA, which was just under 4.00, down.
Guerra managed to finish the season with a nifty 2.60 ERA, but it was a roller coaster ride. He started the year with a big, ugly ERA as the Dodgers closer before getting drilled with a line drive and losing the ninth-inning job. He also had some injury issues throughout the year, but finished strong. If Guerra consistently gets ahead in counts this season, he'll be great—and a nice change in the bullpen with his lower velocity.
I wish I could tell you more about Guerrier's time as a Dodger, but he's spent most of it on the DL. When he came back from an injury late last season, he actually looked pretty good. That being said, he kept leaving the ball up, and we paid for it. Guerrier coughed up a couple close games by giving up long balls. Getting the movement to lead the ball back down to the lower half of the zone will be key for him.
Rodriguez was an absolute revelation last season when called up from the minors out of nowhere to help fill the void left by Elbert. He had a 1.05 ERA in his short stint and was huge in clutch situations. Rodriguez earned himself a spot on the roster, but it will be interesting to see if he can stick. He will have to improve that 1.50 WHIP (albeit a small sample size) against righties, though.
A tendency to overthrow is what haunted the young Tolleson last year. But he really was phenomenal for the Dodgers, seemingly coming through every time he was called upon (which was a lot). I have high hopes for this season, but he's going to have to take his time, take a breath and make his pitches instead of trying to force a fastball in more often than not.
There wasn't a whole lot of time to judge Wall last season, as he appeared in only seven big league games. But one thing he's always had trouble with is keeping runners off base. He has a lot of potential and can get guys out once they reach, but it's a recipe for disaster in the long run.