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Dodgers finalize deal with left-hander J.P. Howell

January 07, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • The Dodgers and left-handed reliever J.P. Howell finalized a one-year contract.
The Dodgers and left-handed reliever J.P. Howell finalized a one-year… (Tom Szczerbowski / Getty…)

The Dodgers finalized a one-year contract with left-handed reliever J.P. Howell, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke under the condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been officially announced by the team.

Howell, 29, figures to be one of two left-handers in the Dodgers bullpen. His pitching style is markedly different from that of the team’s only other established left-hander, hard-throwing Scott Elbert.

Listed at 6 feet and 190 pounds, Howell throws in the mid-80s.

How does he get major league hitters out?

“Keep moving it,” he told the Tampa Tribune in 2008. “If it doesn't move, it's gone, man. Make the ball move and just try to hit the spot. Those guys that throw hard have a luxury in that they can get away with a heater, but for me, I've got to keep them guessing. That's my gig. It's totally different.”

Howell missed the entire 2010 season because of a shoulder operation and struggled the following season for  the Tampa Bay Rays. But he appeared to regain his old form last year, as he posted a 3.04 earned-run average in 55 games and held left-handed hitters to a .200 average.

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