What Does Your Optimal Bullpen Look Like?

This is more about asking a question than about doing any deep, Brim-like analysis, but the bullpen has been a source of concern lately, and while there’s definitely some room to question Don Mattingly‘s choices, the bottom line is the players just aren’t getting the job done. (Shades of the 2014 playoffs, that.)

The numbers aren’t really helping. Over the last 30 days, the bullpen’s 5.36 FIP is worst in baseball. The 5.89 ERA is worst in baseball. They’re getting their whiffs — 23.8 K% is 8th — but they’re walking too many (9.8%, fourth-highest) and getting crushed with homers, putting up a 2.01 HR/9 that is by far the most in the game.

Now, judging a bullpen by 30 day samples isn’t ideal, because over the course of the season the bullpen has been much, much better. The FIP, for example, is eighth. That matters more than just “the last 30 days,” and that recent homer rate just can’t sustain.

Still, that doesn’t mean that the bullpen as it exists today is the perfect combination. So, how would you build it from all the various puzzle pieces? Here’s your options.

The current seven:

Disabled list, but nearly healthy:

Minor league 40-man options:

Plus I’m sure someone will toss out Julio Urias or Jose DeLeon, but, let’s reign it in for now. Also, to note: this is for the remainder of the regular season. In the playoffs, potentially adding Alex Wood as a reliever, should Mat Latos and Brett Anderson start behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, could be a game-changer.

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.