Season in review about nothing: J.P. Howell, ‘The Couch.’

J.P. Howell

J.P. Howell’s 1.43 ERA led all pitchers who made at least 40 appearances in 2015. (Getty Images)

This is Part 23 of a series in which every member of the 2015 Dodgers has his season juxtaposed with an episode of the greatest sitcom of all-time. Don’t take it too seriously.

J.P. Howell, LHP

Key stats: 6-1, one save, 1.43 ERA in 65 games

Seinfeld episode: “The Couch.” (Season 6, Episode 5)

Key quote: “If it’s not about sports, I find it very hard to concentrate.”

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J.P. Howell exercises contract option, keeping him with Dodgers in 2016.

J.P. Howell

Dodgers reliever J.P. Howell exercised his 2016 contract option. (Getty Images)

Pitcher J.P. Howell exercised the $6.25 million option in his contract for 2016, electing to stay with the Dodgers rather than become a free agent.

Howell, 32, went 6-1 with a 1.43 earned-run average in 65 games in 2015. His 1.97 ERA in three seasons with the Dodgers is the third-lowest of any relief pitcher with at least 200 appearances since 2013.

Howell signed a two-year contract prior to the 2014 season. His 2016 contract option became a player option when he pitched his 52nd game of the season in August, then finished the season on the active roster.

No Dodgers pitcher made more appearances in 2015 than Howell. He was the primary left-hander in a bullpen that also included Adam Liberatore and Luis Avilan, who arrived in the July trade that sent southpaw Paco Rodriguez to the Atlanta Braves.

Avilan is eligible for arbitration and Liberatore is under team control, which increases the likelihood that the Dodgers’ top three left-handed relievers will return in 2016.

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Watch: Kenley Jansen pitches a simulated inning at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers staged simulated games Tuesday and Wednesday as part of their pre-series workouts for the NLDS against the New York Mets. Game 1 is Friday at Dodger Stadium.

On Tuesday, Brett Anderson, Joel Peralta, Juan Nicasio and Carlos Frias faced a group of batters. Wednesday was a bullpen game: Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, Chris Hatcher, Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez and Yimi Garcia all threw simulated innings. Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez were among the batters.

The sim game ended when Gonzalez hit a home run off Garcia

Here is the (edited for time) video of Jansen’s inning:

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Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson leaves game with apparent injury to left leg. Update.

Brett Anderson

Brett Anderson had to leave a game in July because of inflammation in the sheath around his left Achilles tendon. (Associated Press photo)

SAN DIEGO — Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson left his start against the San Diego Padres in the sixth inning with an apparent left leg injury.

Update (4:15 p.m.): The Dodgers say Anderson has a cramp in his left calf muscle.

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Dodgers spring training 2015: Dodgers beat Padres, thoughts on the bullpen.

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Yasiel Puig (above), Joc Pederson, Justin Turner and Scott Van Slyke homered in the Dodgers’ 9-5 Cactus League win over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday. Turner, Puig and left fielder Andre Ethier each had two hits for the Dodgers (12-6-6).

The AP recap is here. The box score is here.

Right-hander Juan Nicasio allowed two runs in three innings in a game that was pitched entirely by major-league bullpen candidates. Of those, Sergio Santos allowed a home run to Derek Norris, Jason Lane hit a home run off Dustin McGowan, and nobody else allowed a run.

Since this was a “bullpen game,” a couple thoughts on where the bullpen race stands in light of this game and Brandon League‘s still-unknown shoulder injury:
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