The Dodgers' bullpen has been unhittable for the first week of 2013

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

2012 second-rounder Paco Rodriguez is already contributing to the Dodgers bullpen. (USATSI)

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The Dodgers' new ownership has spent a lot of money to improve the team (and Dodger Stadium) over the last 12 months, adding some big bats to the lineup and big arms to the rotation. The bullpen upgrades have been a little more subtle, but the club's relief unit has been incredibly effective during the first week of the season:

2013 Dodgers bullpen
PitcherIPHRBBK
Brandon League30011
Kenley Jansen2 2/30024
J.P. Howell2 2/30003
Ronald Belisario2 1/31000
Paco Rodriguez20003
Matt Guerrier0 1/30010
Bullpen total1310411

That's a combined 0.38 WHIP, and every other bullpen in baseball has allowed at least four runs by now. The only Los Angeles reliever who has yet to appear in a game this season is left-hander Chris Capuano, who is a starter by trade. He and the recently traded Aaron Harang were pushed out of the rotation by the club's offseason additions.

Having a strong rotation helps the bullpen by keeping relievers from being overworked, but even the Dodgers will admit their relief corps has been unsustainably good over the first week of 2013. This won't last, obviously. At some point these guys will start allowing base runners and runs, but for at least the first week of the new season, they were the most effective bullpen in baseball.

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