The Dodgers and a pieced together bullpen, it’s a tale as old as time. Los Angeles has managed to somehow find a way with their relievers. After all, new management has a tendency to spend money on starters and position players rather than the bullpen. And so far, Andrew Friedman has been able to keep together things on the back end. In fact, Dave Roberts thinks that Jimmy Nelson can be another diamond in the rough.
Friedman said if Jimmy Nelson isn't a starter, he could become a Brandon Morrow-type reliever.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 19, 2020
If you remember, Brandon Morrow was the hero of the Dodgers’ 2017 bullpen. Over 45 appearances, Morrow pitched to a 2.06 ERA and did not allow a single home run in the regular season. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off for him in the now tainted 2017 World Series.
The Dodgers lost out on Morrow when he took a $21 million deal with the Cubs, but they have since then moved on to pay relievers. They picked up Joe Kelly on a $27 million deal in December 2018 and signed Blake Treinen to a one-year, $10 million deal this offseason.
While those two guys will be big names in the pen, Jimmy Nelson has the potential of being a big body out there as well. The six-foot-six righty could be a dominant force in relief for the Dodgers, only if he does not end up a starter.
Nelson in his career has thrown just 16.1 innings in relief, but they were effective innings. If he doesn’t earn a spot in the rotation, which I do not expect him to, then the bullpen will be good for him. And at just $1.25 million, the risk is relatively low for a guy that can touch the mid-nineties with his sinker. Maybe the Dodgers have found their guy again?