The Dodgers are set to have one of the best bullpens in baseball in 2024… or one that could be a huge letdown. There’s sort of little in between. We’ll dive more into that but first, let’s reset some things.

This winter, the club brought back right-handers Joe Kelly and Ryan Brasier in free agency while trading away a pair of left-handed options in Victor Gonzalez and Caleb Ferguson (both going to the Yankees in separate trades). Aside from Ferguson, much of last year’s bullpen unit is returning this season, anchored by closer-not-closer Evan Phillips.

As you might remember, that bullpen unit was quite bad over the first two months of the season. Then, things turned around as guys returned from various nagging injuries and Phillips overcame some early-season struggles. The front office later added Brasier on a minor league deal, taught him a cutter, and he helped solidify a rocky bullpen while becoming a weapon late in games.

So, with many of the same guys returning, it’s easy to see relief as a strength for LA. Where things get concerning heading into spring training this year is that the Dodgers’ plan has them leaning on two pitchers who haven’t really pitched over the last two seasons.

Blake Treinen and J.P. Feyereisen.

Treinen is a familiar name to Dodger fans but Feyereisen is the newcomer, despite now entering his second season in the organization. Both are coming off rotator cuff surgeries and missed the entirety of the 2023 season. The club has promised that they are healthy and ready to compete for roles this spring. But, if either is unable to go, it could lead to a considerably different looking bullpen.

Who is in the Dodger Bullpen Right Now?

Along with some of the minor league starting pitching guys who are hoping to secure any roles at the major league level, the Dodgers will enter camp with 16 pitchers competing for opening day jobs. As of now, eight of those guys have guaranteed spots on the active roster, leaving one role up for grabs… kind of.

There’s a caveat to all of that and it has to do with the starting rotation situation and the two different opening days the Dodgers have ahead of them.

All that said, let’s first look at the guys competing for roles.


  • RHP Evan Phillips
  • RHP Brusdar Graterol
  • RHP Joe Kelly
  • RHP Ryan Brasier
  • RHP Blake Treinen
  • RHP J.P. Feyereisen
  • LHP Alex Vesia
  • LHP Ryan Yarbrough
Fighting for Jobs

  • RHP Daniel Hudson
  • LHP Matt Gage
  • RHP Gus Varland
  • RHP Ricky Vanasco
  • RHP Landon Knack
  • RHP Emmet Sheehan
  • RHP Michael Grove
  • RHP Kyle Hurt

From that group, Ryan Yarbrough is likely viewed as more of a starter/opener as the season begins since Walker Buehler will be held back for the first few weeks in March and April. So, that frees up one additional spot on the pitching staff.

That spot could or should go to someone with the ability to pick up bulk innings like Emmet Sheehan, Michael Grove, or Kyle Hurt. One, two, or all of those guys could also sneak their way onto the roster for the series against the Padres in South Korea. But, in the long run, the Dodgers would prefer them all stretched out and starting down at the Triple-A level.

Daniel Hudson signed back with the Dodgers on a minor league deal this offseason and is coming off a second season in a row ended by a knee injury. He’s said to be healthy and is entering spring training with the expectation of making the team out of camp.

Hudson along with Treinen and Feyereisen are going to be make or break guys for the Dodgers in 2024. If they’re all healthy, it could give the team arguably the best bullpen in the league. If one or two can’t bounce back and get major league hitters out, then the team will have to pivot to plan B which would drastically affect the starting pitching depth throughout the organization.

More Bullpen Conversation

I talked out the bullpen at length in a recent chat with Dodgers writer Blake Harris in a video on the All Dodgers YouTube channel. We discuss the state of the bullpen heading into spring training and address some of the concerns along with how things could play out in terms of roles and usage.

Check it out here on YouTube, or watch in the video player at the top of this article or listen to the podcast version through the links on this page.

Final Thoughts

On the eve of pitchers and catchers reporting, the neurotic side of our brain can draft up the worst case scenarios when it comes to the bullpen for this team. Will the injury guys hold up? Will they be effective after missing most or all of the last couple of seasons? Can Alex Vesia step up as the lone lefty in the mix?

However, stepping back and viewing the situation from a more positive light, we can say that with all the competition heading into camp, it’s a really good problem to have for LA.

At the start of this article, I said the bullpen would be good or bad with no in between. But in reality, the in between is probably the floor in 2024. Said another way, the bullpen will be good this coming season. And at worst, it’ll be pretty dang solid. Luckily, the Dodgers are flush with pitching depth down on the farm and prepared for anything the 162 game season can throw at them.

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Clint Pasillas
Clint Pasillas is owner and Editor in Chief of He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008 and was the Lead Editor at Dodgers Nation as well as Inside the Dodgers, Halos Today, and Inside the Padres, all under the Sports Illustrated umbrella. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!