Despite tying up a significant portion of their payroll in Kenley Jansen last month, the Dodgers are still looking for bullpen help. According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the club is reportedly considering free agent right-hander Neftali Feliz among other late-inning candidates.
Feliz, 28, signed a one-year, $3.9 million deal with the Pirates prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to a 3.52 ERA over 53 2/3 innings with Pittsburgh, nearly halving his 2015 ERA and recording a career-best 10.2 SO/9 to boot. Although he was shut down for the last month of the season due to arm discomfort, no structural damage was found and the right-hander appears to have a clean bill of health as he approaches a 2017 run.
The Nationals were connected to Feliz in early December, but no serious contract talks have been reported as of yet. While the 28-year-old has a lengthy history of arm/elbow injuries and less-than-stellar command, his improved velocity, recent success off the mound and relatively young age should give the Dodgers some peace of mind should they choose to pursue him.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.
Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.
After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.
Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.
Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.
Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.