howell_2014-04-30

Thank you, J.P. Howell, for being awesome

howell_2014-04-30We’ve spent many hours and keystrokes on how bad the Dodgers’ bullpen has been this season, but it’s time for some praise. J.P. Howell is having a fantastic season, and his re-signing was one of the best transactions of the Dodger offseason.

In 28 1/3 innings (in 38 games), Howell has a 1.59 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 3.31 xFIP and a great 10.2 K/9. This, coming from a guy who tops out at 88.1 MPH with is fastball. Overall, his velocity is actually down a little from last season, but it’s working for him.

J.P.  Howell velo 2013-14

(For whatever reason, view this as 2014 on the left and 2013 on the right)

He’s basically duplicating his 2013 season, something that many didn’t think was possible. Howell doesn’t overpower hitters, as I’m sure you’ve seen. But the dude knows how to pitch. And he’s pitching well, despite what would be a career-worse-tying walk rate (4.8 BB/9). Howell may very well be a magician.

He’s been the Dodgers’ best and most consistent relief pitcher, considering Kenley Jansen‘s “struggles” this season. Howell is now the Dodgers’ eighth inning guy, and it’s a role he seems perfectly OK handling. He gets right-handers out just as well as he gets left-handers out. That, coupled with Brian Wilson‘s struggles (thank you for that double play last night, Scott Van Slyke), should lead to an increase in Howell’s innings per outing number. With the increased workload, a Paco Rodriguez promotion would make a ton of sense. Either him or Scott Elbert, who is pitching rehab games in minor leagues. I expect the Dodgers wouldn’t throw Elbert into the fray after three surgeries, so Rodriguez should be up sooner, rather than later, with Chris Perez or Paul Maholm — or both — getting Das Boot.

So, thank you, J.P. Howell for being really good at your job. Thank you for picking up for the guys who were ahead of you on the depth chart. Thank you for being awesome and don’t ever stop being so. Oh, and your beard is only rivaled by SVS’s. You  might have to step your game up in that department.


About

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin’ Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called “Dugout Blues.” He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.


921 comments
PJ14
PJ14

Toronto picked a World Cup player?

Lobo
Lobo

I want the Lakers to take Thanasis Antentekoumpo with their next pick

DBrim
DBrim moderator

The NBA draft is not good bar television material.

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

Being a knowledgable baseball fan is so hard. Not giving a shit about this move would be the pragmatic thing to do. 

Lobo
Lobo

John are you a Cavs fan?

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

A time capsule will be buried today, saying 'open in 50 years.'

Inside, a note.

"We have optioned Carlos Triunfel to Triple-A.'

DodgersFan
DodgersFan

@Lobo no, i'm a magic fan. the cavs don't have much of a reach over ohio, and i really like steve francis when i was younger, and i became a magic fan when they got him

TellMyWifeISaidHello
TellMyWifeISaidHello

@Mike Petriello here we are discussing weather and the nba draft and all mike wants to know is what the move is for uribe. Probably because he is trying to write the game threat

DodgersFan
DodgersFan

@Lobo @DodgersFan well i lived about 4 hours from cleveland, so i never saw them play, and i didn't know any cavs fans until after they got lebron

InsideThePark (Fulton County)
InsideThePark (Fulton County)

what works against him is he doesnt have long arms and a tick undersized.

anyway, what else could they do? trade? easier said than done.

TellMyWifeISaidHello
TellMyWifeISaidHello

@DodgersFan @InsideThePark (Chavez Ravine) depends on a lot. What if Lebron goes to cleveland? If the lakers can convince Melo and Bosh to come to Laker land. Now you have got something. More realistically. They sign Kyle lowry. Fill out the rest of the roster with high dollar one year contracts and if Kobe is semi healthy that could be a decent squad. I can see why Vonleh has more potential hard to say he ever realizes it

InsideThePark (Fulton County)
InsideThePark (Fulton County)

cap room, a non-rookie season for the first rounder, by then Gasol will be parlayed for some nice pieces. You'll see. Still a rough next season (expect little) but in 2015-2016, very competitive.

DodgersFan
DodgersFan

@InsideThePark (Chavez Ravine) what will you get for gasol? randle is not gonna be good defensively even if his offense is decent. if you were in the east i could see it but not in the west