Dodgers keep one of the "best" relievers in franchise history

Posted on 05 November 2015

Howell exercises player option, stays a Dodger

J.P. Howell would arguably have been the best left-handed specialist on the free-agent market. But he won’t even reach the shelves.

Howell, whose three-year run with the Dodgers has been one of the best of any reliever in franchise history, has exercised his 2016 player option and will return to the Los Angeles bullpen next season.

The 32-year-old (he’ll be 33 on Opening Day) appeared in a team high 65 games last season and had a 1.43 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 44 innings. Howell ranks third all-time in Dodger history among relievers (minimum 150 innings pitched) with a 1.97 ERA.

If Howell elected to become a free agent, he would have been one of the most appealing left-handed relievers. Here’s how he compares among that group with numbers from 2015:

  • J.P. Howell: 32 years old, 1.43 ERA/1.39 WHIP in 44 innings
  • Tony Sipp: 32 years old, 1.99 ERA/1.03 WHIP in 54 1/3 innings
  • Antonio Bastardo: 30 years old, 2.98 ERA/1.13 WHIP in 57 1/3 innings
  • Joe Thatcher: 34 years old, 3.18 ERA/1.54 WHIP in 22 2/3 innings
  • Neal Cotts: 35 years old, 3.41 ERA/1.26 WHIP in 63 1/3 innings
  • Randy Choate: 40 years old, 3.95 ERA/1.24 WHIP in 27 1/3 innings
  • Craig Breslow: 35 years old, 4.15 ERA/1.42 WHIP in 65 innings
  • Brian Duensing: 32 years old, 4.25 ERA/1.38 WHIP in 48 2/3 innings

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