Friday, November 21, 2014

Bullpen makeover begins with Peralta

Where did Andrew Friedman turn to in his first big move with the Dodgers?  Why his old club in Tampa, of course.

The Dodgers acquired veteran righty Joel Peralta from the Rays on Tuesday in exchange for Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris.  Lefty Adam Liberatore was also obtained in the 2-for-2 deal.

There's obviously a lot of familiarity for Friedman in this move, as Peralta has spent the last four seasons as one of the Rays' top setup men.  That included excellent season in 2011 and 2012 in which he posted an American League best 37 and 41 holds, respectively.

Last season, those numbers dipped some to the tune of 18 holds with a 4.41 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.  Still, he's made the most appearances in the Majors since 2011 at 296, and is second to Tyler Clippard with 115 holds.  He's only been on the DL once in 10 years, and that was last July when he missed time because of a mosquito bite.  Seriously.

I like this move for a couple of reasons.  One, Peralta is a proven commodity in the 'pen, as he's been able to overpower the mighty AL East for a few seasons.  Two, Dominguez is a guy who can regularly throw 100+ mph, but can't locate and was still hit around last season to the tune of a 6.14 ERA.  He's had his moments, but is not a reliable, consistent arm to build around.  He won't be missed.

Immediately, Peralta should be propelled into the setup role, as the Dodgers are DESPERATELY trying to find any sort of solution to getting the ball to Kenley Jansen late in games.  The regular season was bad enough, but the NLDS against the Cardinals magnified this even more.

This is a good start for Friedman with more work to do.  Peralta may not reach the level of leading the league in holds anymore, but with an ability to still get strikeouts (74 in 63 1/3 innings last year), he can definitely be a needed boost to the 'pen.

1 comment:

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