Here’s a free tip to that legion of relievers making plans to be in the Dodgers’ bullpen this season: Better be on your game early and often.
General Manager Ned Colletti has assembled a relief corps of pitchers who are used to being in at the end of games, including former closers Brian Wilson, Brandon League and Chris Perez.
Perez is the former Indians closer signed during the off-season, and his early spring results are all of the encouraging variety.
Tuesday was a relievers game anyway, seven different members of the bullpen filling in for starter Zack Greinke, who remains out with a calf strain.
Several relievers shined in the Dodgers’ 4-1 loss to the Mariners at Camelback Ranch, but particularly encouraging was the pitching of Perez.
The right-hander was released by Cleveland after going 5-3 with 25 saves, a 4.33 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP last season. Perez, 28, wanted a chance to rebuild his career and signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers.
Tuesday he pitched a perfect fifth inning, striking out two. In two innings this spring, he has not allowed a hit or a walk and has struck out three.
Wilson actually started the game, and like Kenley Jansen, Chris Withrow and Red Patterson, did not allow a run.
J.P. Howell was the reliever who faltered, allowing three runs (two earned) and four hits in one inning. Jamey Wright also gave up a run in his one inning.
The Dodgers’ only run came via a solo home run from outfielder Trayvon Robinson, the former Dodgers prospect who was traded to Seattle in the deal for Tim Federowicz in 2011. Robinson spent two years with the Mariners and ended up with the Orioles, who released him at the end of last season before he signed back up with the Dodgers in January.