Dodgers Should Look for Second Closer, and Soon

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Happy Monday Dodgers fans! Let’s start our week off looking at some numbers. Hyun-Jin Ryu has a 1.26 ERA and the Dodgers have 48 wins, tied with the Houston Astros for best record in all of the major leagues.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, in what I think is a way-too-early stat, the Dodgers’ magic number is 81, halfway to clinching the NL West. They currently have a 10.5 game lead over both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.

But of course, as we’ve stated many times here, it really doesn’t matter what happens in the regular season, aside from maybe being able to secure home field advantage throughout, it matters what happens in the postseason. And the scary numbers are what worry Dodger fans the most.

One of the other things we’ve talked about here many times is the state of the bullpen. It is the low mark of the team, and most likely to be the thing that hinders the Dodgers from getting that World Championship.

The other day, we mentioned Joe Kelly, and how the Dodgers have time to let him sort his issues out. However, it was closer Kenley Jansen who was the one worrying Dodger fans over the weekend.

Per Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago, Kenley has a 7.88 ERA on no days rest so far this season, which is seven earned runs over eight innings pitched. He has a 1.74 ERA with one or more days rest, which extrapolates to only four earned runs over 20.2 innings pitched.

The Dodgers are lucky in one respect that their starters go much deeper into games than league average, and that will overall help the bullpen. But that doesn’t necessarily apply when it comes to the closer role, especially if the Dodgers have a couple tight games in a row, as they did over the weekend against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers need, in essence, a second closer. Someone who could be relied upon to come in and take some of the pressure off of Kenley to come in and throw in back-to-back-to-back games. Jansen, of course, having the closer mentality, would probably not want to hand the ball to another pitcher to close out the game. But with his medical history, and the fact he’s had so much work both in the regular season and the playoffs over the last three seasons, it would be prudent for the Dodgers to acquire some one capable of high leverage situations.

In Game 5 of the 2016, Jansen worked the seventh and the eighth, and Clayton Kershaw came out and pitched the ninth to win the series. Why would it be so different for Kenley to have another reliable backup, should the Dodgers find themselves in many close situations in the playoffs? I personally would love to see Sean Doolittle, currently with the Washington Nationals, join the bullpen. He’s seen time both as a setup man a closer, and also is the type of guy that would fit in perfectly in the Dodgers clubhouse.

Once again time will tell what direction the Dodgers will take. The Dodgers Front Office has waited until very close to the deadline to add pieces the last two season. With so many teams looking for relief help this season, I’m hoping they’re more aggressive and go out and get that bullpen arm sooner than later.

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The Dodgers continue their home stand, starting a four game series Monday night against the San Francisco Giants. Pitching matchups with be

Monday- Tyler Beede and Kenta Maeda

Tuesday- Shaun Anderson and Clayton Kershaw

Wednesday – Drew Pomeranz and Rich Hill

Thursday- Madison Bumgarner and Walker Buehler

All game times are 7:10 PST

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11 thoughts on “Dodgers Should Look for Second Closer, and Soon

  1. Here’s an interesting stat – we have 48 wins and 24 saves. Maybe a closer isn’t that important? Yeah, right.

    Yankees got some thump. Fun team to watch. Wonder if they will platoon them?

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      1. Yep. Can you construct and punctuate a sentence?

        Just making a point about an early trade that adds a lot of power to a lineup that already has it.

        Hey, Joc got a hit! Now, Kiké and Taylor?

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    1. Hey Scoop. Just to make things official, what do you think of the Yanks?
      Looks like Mr. Calloway was having a bad day. I guess you aren’t supposed to mention that other team unless you’re asked.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yanks will be fun to watch hit, but their pitching needs to be improved. If they all hit they can score in bunches. I still like Houston in the AL.

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      2. No way they don’t add some pitching. Madbum seems like the perfect match to me, but I hope it doesn’t happen.

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  2. Hand, Smirh or Doolittle. Who would you want and what would it cost? One of these guys and Greene from Tigers would put us over the top. I still think Pollock comes back healthy and gives us a big 2nd half!

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  3. With Seager out we need JOC to go on one of his hot streaks again! Because the bottom of our lineup now is a black hole!

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  4. That sucked! Shut down by an 8+ era bum! That lineup tonight outside of Belly and Muncy gives us no chance to score or win games. There’s just no getting around the fact that Taylor, Kiki and Barnes can’t hit and it’s not gonna get any better. Sorry Alex but Barnes is just terrible in every facet of the game and is not a major league player. It’s time to bring Smith up! We need his bat especially right now! We have to play Taylor at short right now with Seager out, but Kiki’s time is up. He’s a late inning defensive replacement only! Sorry but Beaty and Garlick aren’t the answer. Freese has to play more until Pollock and Seager come back against both righties and lefties. There are just too many holes in this lineup and we’re wasting a lot of good pitching! Frustrating!

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    1. Yep, we’ve got holes in our lineup. These games are going to happen because of those holes. But I don’t believe management will do anything about it at this time. I surely don’t expect them to replace either veteran catcher unless they have to due to injury. Hernandez has been the same player for 4 years. He’s up and down. Taylor and Barnes each had one good year that appears to have been outlier performances. All 3 of those guys have career OPS numbers that are quite pedestrian and I don’t expect much out of any of them. They will however come through on occasion. In the mean time we just wait for the stars to shine and for Seager to get back. I don’t expect to maintain a 10 game lead without him, and without bullpen help, which I believe will come. No need to panic yet but clearly there are concerns.

      We cough up hairballs now and then, but we do need to score more than 2 against a pathetic last place team. That is just embarrassing.

      Moving on from that one.

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