While statistics suggest the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bullpen did not perform as poorly as perceived, one of their struggles was getting through the seventh and eighth innings.
Outside of Kenley Jansen as closter, the Dodgers largely did away with specific bullpen roles under team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi.
It’s a philosophy that extended down to the Dodgers’ Minor League affiliates. That being said, former manager Don Mattingly eventually settled on Luis Avilan and Chris Hatcher as his primary late-game options.
Although the Dodgers may not be interested in setting roles for their relievers, signing Darren O’Day presents them with the opportunity to pair Jansen with a formidable setup man.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) November 22, 2015
The Nationals last season traded for closer Jonathan Papelbon, giving them a trio of relievers (Drew Storen, Casey Janssen) with significant eighth and ninth-inning experience.
Papelbon didn’t pitch nearly as well after joining Washington from the Philadelphia Phillies, and was involved in the dugout altercation with 2015 National League MVP Bryce Harper.
O’Day, 33, is reportedly seeking a four-year contract. He appeared in 68 games for the Baltimore Orioles last season, with 82 strikeouts and 14 walks in 65.1 innings.
His 1.52 ERA marked the second consecutive season in which he finished with a sub-2.00 ERA. Since joining Baltimore in 2012, O’Day is 23-8 with a 1.92 ERA, 2.49 FIP, 3.05 xFIP, 0.94 WHIP, 12 saves and 65 games finished in 273 appearances.