Washington Nationals: Ranking The Bullpens In The NL East

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Oct 10, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Shawn Kelley (27) pitches during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game three of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Shawn Kelley (27) pitches during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game three of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Marlins

Last season, the Marlins bullpen had the second most strikeouts of any team in the National League (570) and they were tied with the Washington Nationals for the third fewest home runs allowed (48).

This offseason, the Marlins added to their bullpen with the signings of Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa in free agency. Due to the passing of Jose Fernandez, Miami’s rotation isn’t as strong, so they have to depend a lot on the bullpen in 2017.

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Their closer is A.J. Ramos, who had 40 saves last season (fourth in the National League). Since the 2015 season, the 30-year-old right-hander has 82 saves in 91 chances and has appeared in over 65 games every season since 2013.

As for the aforementioned free agent signings, Ziegler has an ERA of under three in five of the last six seasons. The big question will be Tazawa and whether or not he can rebound after having an ERA of over five in his last 18 appearances of the season.

Miami also has Kyle Barraclough that they could use in the late innings, but the pitcher I want to focus on is David Phelps. Phelps can be used as a starter or reliever, but he had a 2.31 ERA in the bullpen last season and held hitters to a .181 average in 22 second half outings.

Next: Pace Of Play Issues Are Real

When you look at this Miami bullpen, they will be relied upon a lot if their starters can’t go deep into games. They couldn’t get Kenley Jansen or Aroldis Chapman this winter, but they do have good depth that can help them shorten ball games.

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