Los Angeles General Manager Ned Colletti believes Howell will give manager Don Mattingly more options when the game is on the line.
“J.P. adds to our bullpen, especially from the left side,” Colletti said. “He provides Don with additional choices of someone who has pitched at a high level in very competitive situations.”
Indeed, in 12 post-season innings with the Tampa Rays, Howell has struck out 17 and posted an ERA of 3.00. While pitching for Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, he was unscored upon in three appearances.
After putting up sub-3.00 ERA seasons in 2008 and 2009, Howell suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out for all of 2010. His first year after the surgery was sub par as Howell posted a 6.16 ERA in 46 games.
Howell returned to form in 2012 with a 3.04 ERA in 55 appearances. He held opponents to a .223 batting average, and was especially effective against lefties who went 17-for-85 against him.
The former first-round draft pick established a Tampa Bay franchise record in 2012 by recording 27 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings from June 14through August 30.
Since 2008, Howell ranks seventh among American League pitchers with at least 200 games with a .209 opponents’ batting average. During that time, he has averaged more than one strikeout per inning.
Originally drafted by the Royals in 2004, Howell has ties to California. He was born in Modesto and attended USC before transferring to University of Texas. Howell and his wife, Heather, live in St. Petersburg, Fl.
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