2021 Los Angeles Dodgers Player Reviews: Blake Treinen

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers placed an emphasis on bolstering their bullpen last winter, which led to the re-signing of Blake Treinen to a two-year contract with a club option for the 2023 season.

The right-hander was coming off a modest 2020 campaign in which he took a step forward from the previous year but didn’t get back to his dominant form during time with the Oakland Athletics.

Treinen proved effective early on as he posted a 3.18 ERA in 11 appearances in April despite allowing a .319 opponents’ batting average. He improved in both of those areas the following month as he pitched to a 2.89 ERA and limited hitters to a .121 batting average over 11 games.

After putting up a 3.27 ERA in July, Treinen did not give up a run across 13 innings of work the following month. He built on that by compiling a minuscule 1.23 ERA in August before closing out the year with a 2.08 ERA over his final 13 games.

In 72 overall appearances, Treinen went 6-5 with a 1.99 ERA, 2.88 FIP and 0.98 WHIP across 72.1 innings. He notched seven saves, accumulated 2.4 WAR and struck out 10.6 batters per nine. “I think he’s mixing much better,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained of Treinen’s increase in strikeouts last year.

“In years past he was very heavy sinker, then he started mixing in the cutter. The slider is certainly a part of his arsenal, I think getting strike one, and I just think he’s mixing a lot better than he did last year.”

Treinen also excelled at limiting soft contact as he was in the 100th percentile of average exit velocity allowed, 99th percentile in barrel percentage and 98th percentile of hard-hit percentage.

Treinen’s 2021 highlight

From June 25 through August 19, Treinen did not allow an earned run over 24.2 innings pitched. He gave up just two unearned runs on eight hits during the stretch and collected 29 strikeouts against six walks.

2022 outlook

With Kenley Jansen reportedly unlikely to re-sign with the Dodgers, Treinen potentially could step in as the team’s closer this year. The 33-year-old has prior experience filling the role, last doing so for the Athletics during parts of the 2017-2019 seasons.

Even if Jansen returns, Treinen still figures to receive most of his opportunities in high-leverage situations. That could come as the Dodgers’ setup man, in a fireman role or even closer at times.

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