Dodgers 2014 Off-Season: Bullpen Trends Up With Recent Signings
As the off-season continues to quickly move along, the Los Angeles Dodgers had a busy week and continued to get themselves ready for the 2014 season.
Let’s take a look at what was trending up and down this week with the Dodgers:
The Dodger bullpen added a few more pieces this week with the announced signings of right-handers Jamey Wright and Chris Perez. Wright returns to the Dodgers after one season with the Tampa Bay Rays and will pitch in long and middle relief. Perez becomes the high-profile reliever with closing experience that general manager Ned Colletti mentioned the team was after.
Last season, Wright threw 70 innings for the Rays and finished with a 3.09 ERA in 66 games. He can go multiple innings if needed and will be relied upon in crucial situations. Meanwhile, Perez slots into the seventh inning role ahead of Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen. He’ll be available to close out games if Jansen or Wilson are unavailable.
The two right-handers combined with the official announcement of left-hander J.P. Howell’s new contract to give the Dodgers one of the most formidable bullpens in all of baseball.
The slugging shortstop celebrated his 30th birthday this week and took to Instagram to tell everyone about it. Ramirez shared a photo of his Dodgers’ themed cake and even showed off his new hairstyle. The Dodger shortstop is being counted on to be a catalyst in the lineup next season.
Ramirez is in the “prime” years of his career and should continue his 2013 pace in 2014. Last season, he hit .345 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI in 86 games for the Dodgers. The celebration could continue this off-season if Ramirez gets a new contract extension with the team.
The Dodger outfielder is out of his walking boot and many believe that he’ll be ready to begin the season in the starting lineup. Kemp missed the end of the season and all of the postseason with an ankle injury that occurred during a play at home plate. The 29-year-old is working to be ready for the Dodgers’ opening series in Australia.
A healthy Kemp gives the Dodgers one of the most dangerous lineups in all of baseball and the fact that Kemp can begin running and moving is a good sign for next season. Kemp will be working hard to be prepared for next season and hopefully regain his 2011 form.
The Dodgers first-year player is having a tough time recovering from a hamstring injury that’s caused him to miss significant time in the Dominican Winter League. He hasn’t played since December 12 and may not return to the league, as he’s preliminarily scheduled to come work out in Arizona in January.
Guerrero was supposed to be using this time to face some live pitching and learn a new position in order to be ready for next season. The Dodgers are being cautious with their $28 million investment and if it were regular season, he likely would have played. He’s slotted into the starting second base position unless he loses his job in the spring.
The Cuban infielder may just shut down his winter league season and join the Dodger coaches for some extensive work in Arizona.
The 23-year-old right-hander struggled in his appearance for the Tigres de Licey this week and may be out of a spot with the Dodgers after the signings of Perez and Wright. In his only appearance this past week, Dominguez went 0.1 innings and gave up three hits and three runs to inflate his ERA to 5.40 in 10 appearances.
Dominguez was called up last season and was beginning to earn himself a spot in the bullpen before a quad injury forced him to miss the rest of the season. The hard-throwing right-hander will now likely begin the 2014 season with the Albuquerque Isotopes in Triple-A and his work in the winter hasn’t done him any favors in his chances to make the club.
The Dodgers will keep Dominguez ready in case of any injuries in the bullpen and it will be a matter of time before he is throwing at Dodger Stadium.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Jamey Wright agreed to a one-year deal