It’s no secret that the Dodgers had bullpen problems in 2018. The Dodgers restructured their bullpen late in the season but relief pitching was still an issue even in the postseason. The Dodgers could certainly use some help in this area for 2019. Looking at the free agent market this winter there are not many attractive options. However there are a few worthwhile upgrades available. One of those that could be a great fit for the Dodgers would be right hander Adam Ottavino.
The 32-year old right hander had a terrific season in 2018. Ottavino posted a 2.43 ERA in 75 appearances for the Rockies in 2018. Ottavino struck out 112 and walked 36 across 77.1 innings pitched during the 2018 season. He allowed just 4.8 hits per nine and struck out 13.0 per nine while posting a 2.74 FIP. Ottavino allowed just five home runs and stranded 76.3% of base runners. He posted a 43% ground ball rate as well.
Ottavino with his sinker, slider and change is somewhat of a ground ball specialist. If you think he could only pitch well away from Coors Field, think again. While Ottavino had a 2.10 ERA and limited batters to a .124 BAA in Denver, he also posted a 2.70 ERA and limited batters to a .184 BAA against on the road. There is no question that Ottavino had a great year.
Ottavino has 17 career saves and a 3.68 ERA while limiting hitters to 7.9 hits per nine. He’s also struck out 10.1 per nine over the duration of his 8-year major league career. Even though He’s had issues holding runners on, he’s been a reliable reliever his entire career. He’s had 50 or more appearances in five of his eight campaigns. He should come relatively cheap too. Last season he was earning seven million dollars.
We’re always talking about that bridge to Kenley Jansen which has become quite rickety over the past couple of seasons. The Dodgers need a dependable seventh and eighth inning guy that can get the ball to Kenley. Ottavino could be a valuable investment towards building that bridge.