Kenley Jansen: 22 G, 0-2, 4.34 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 12/14 SV, 9 BB, 31 K, .276 BAA
J.P. Howell: 22 G, 1-3, 2.40 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 0/0 SV, 9 BB, 17 K, .182 BAA
Jamey Wright: 19 G, 2-2, 2.95 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 0/0 SV, 12 BB, 16 K, .260 BAA
Chris Perez: 18 G, 0-1, 3.24 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 1/2 SV, 8 BB, 12 K, .182 BAA
Chris Withrow: 17 G, 0-0, 1.00 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 0/1 SV, 15 BB, 24 K, .073 BAA
Brian Wilson: 15 G, 0-2, 10.32 ERA, 2.38 WHIP, 0/1 SV, 11 BB, 14 K, .320 BAA
Brandon League: 14 G, 1-1, 1.66 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 0/0 SV, 5 BB, 14 K, .233 BAA
Paco Rodriguez: 10 G, 0-0, 6.43 ERA, 1.86 WHIP, 0/0 SV, 3 BB, 8 K, .370 BAA
Jose Dominguez: 5 G, 0-0, 11.37 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 0/0 SV, 3 BB, 8 K, .269 BAA
Pedro Baez: 1 G, 0-0, 18.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 0/0 SV, 0 BB, 2 K, .400 BAA
Many fans like to punish Don Mattingly via social media anytime the bullpen implodes, which has been often this year. We'll get into why the manager has made the right call more often than not on our next slide, but it hasn't really mattered in the sense that almost every reliever in the Dodgers' bullpen has gotten off to a poor start, which in turn has had a contagious effect.
Even Kenley Jansen, arguably one of the three best closers in all of baseball last year, has been bitten by the bug. After a horrid start, Jansen cooled off and posted a nice 11-game string that went relatively unnoticed, before crashing and burning in a huge momentum-swinging loss to the Giants this past Sunday.
With a team-leading 22 appearances, the workload might be taking a toll on Jansen, but there have been times where his dominant cutter just wasn't there.
For as pedestrian as Jansen has looked, the Dodgers' $10-million setup man, Brian Wilson, has been the worst of the bunch. The numbers speak for themselves, and his decreased velocity and lack of control and energy seem to have created rumblings among Dodgers fans of a hidden injury. After all, there can be no rational explanation for such a massive drop-off, can there?
Chris Perez, J.P. Howell, Chris Withrow and Jamey Wright have all had their rough patches, but they have pitched relatively well when called upon. Unfortunately when the rest of the bullpen is in chaos, "relatively good" won't cut it. We know Howell and Withrow will get those walk rates down and become go-to seventh-inning guys again, but they've been treading water in the first quarter of the season.
Jose Dominguez and Pedro Baez are both just getting tastes of big league action whenever the Dodgers need an extra arm. Neither has done well so far, but both have great potential. We saw that develop firsthand with Dominguez down the stretch last year. If they want to contribute in August and September, they're going to have to fix some mechanical flaws in the minors as the summer wears on.
The most curious case in the bullpen has been that of Paco Rodriguez, who quickly became a fan favorite last year as he blossomed into an unsung hero against left-handed batters.
While many still call for his promotion back to the majors, fans forget that he was struggling terribly in the early goings. Though he'd probably be an improvement over Wilson, Dodgers fans should trust the team to recall Rodriguez when he's ready so he can have maximum impact.
And of course, we saved the best for last. Shockingly enough, the "best" reliever in the bullpen through the first 42 games has been former bust Brandon League, whom fans mercilessly booed all last year.
Don't get me wrong—the man deserved it. He was god-awful over the last year and a half. But some combination of confidence and control has overcome him this season, and he's become a reliable option for Mattingly in tight games.
Overall, the Dodgers' bullpen has been bad, to put it nicely. It's hard to foresee a Jonathan Broxton-esque meltdown from Jansen and most of the names mentioned will probably have nice seasons, if healthy, based on their career and recent numbers. Wilson is a worry, and League will probably regress at some point, but it's only a matter of time before the whole group gets on track.