Every MLB season, there are usually multiple players who have a rough year. Most MLB players have gone through a slump at some point. Bullpen pitchers are included here. Although they don’t pitch every night, they come into some pretty tough situations where allowing just one run can lose the game. Here are five bullpen pitchers on NL teams that can bounce back in 2020 after not having their best season.
Blake Treinen (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Just one season after Blake Trienen finished sixth in the AL Cy Young voting, he had possibly his worst season as a big leaguer. He posted a career high 4.91 ERA in 57 appearances for the Athletics. His 58 2/3 innings pitched are his fewest since his first MLB season in 2014. He is rostered with the Dodgers for 2020, so maybe a new team can help him rebound to numbers similar to his All-Star season where he had a 0.78 ERA in 80 1/3 innings pitched.
Trienen was in the bullpen for another NL team when he pitched for the Nationals from 2014 through part of 2017.
Craig Kimbrel (Chicago Cubs)
Seven time All-Star Craig Kimbrel signed with the Chicago Cubs last season. He made his debut on June 27 and pitched in 23 games that season. His ERA for the season was 6.53. His next highest was 3.40 in 2016. Kimbrel also allowed 3.9 HR/9, which is way above his career HR/9 allowed at 0.7. The 31-year-old could still get back to being one of the top relievers in baseball, and an efficient start to 2020 can help him do that.
Edwin Diaz (New York Mets)
Edwin Diaz pitched for the Mets in 2019, which was his first season on a National League team. It was also his worst in the MLB. He allowed a career high 15 homers in 58 innings. His ERA was 5.59, which is way higher than the 1.96 ERA he posted the season before. Diaz will be just 26-years-old this season, so he should still have multiple seasons ahead of him where he can get back towards those 2018 numbers.
Hunter Strickland (Washington Nationals)
Through his first five Major League seasons, Hunter Strickland‘s ERA was listed below 4.00 each season. That changed in 2019. He pitched for both the Mariners and the Nationals last season, and struggled with both of them. He was dealing with an injury for part of the season that aided in limiting him to just 28 appearances on the season. The 31-year-old could be healthier this year and that can help him get back on track.
Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)
Raisel Iglesias posted a 4.16 ERA last season. It wasn’t horrible, but it was up from the past few seasons where it was under 3.00. He also had a career high WHIP at 1.224. Iglesias has the ability to post better numbers in 2020. The Reds made multiple offensive moves this offseason, and this can potentially provide Iglesias with more save opportunities in 2020.
Feature Image Courtesy of Call to the Pen.