Closing out games can be one of the most pressure-filled situations in baseball. One little mistake, and the team could lose a game.
That makes it important to have a consistent, reliable closer. For the Dodgers, Brandon League will be trusted with the role for his first whole season.
He was traded from the Mariners halfway through last season, and signed a 3-year deal to now take the responsibility of the 9th inning in every close ballgame for the Blue Crew.
Soon to be 30, League has received lots of faith from the Dodgers.
After Kenley Jansen went down with heart problems, Mattingly gave the closing job to League, and he flourished.
He went a perfect 6-for-6 in save opportunities with the Dodgers.
Thanks to his stellar performance, the Dodgers believe that League can get the job done consistently throughout the highly-anticipated 2013 season, and for years to come.
Of course, the Dodgers had put their faith on Javy Guerra at the start of last season, but he was not able to last two months as the team’s closer. Once he started to struggle, the Dodgers pulled the plug on him and gave Jansen the job.
Tough luck on Jansen however, as his heart problem has cost him the closer role, one that seemingly was going to be his for the future.
However, if League starts to struggle, the Dodgers won’t be hesitant to replace him as the closer. They might give it back to Jansen if he’s healthy, or they may even give Javy Guerra another shot.
With this stacked bullpen, anyone could probably be given the responsibility.
That puts a little extra pressure on League, but if he puts it all aside and focuses on his job alone, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Along with all of the stars on this ball club, League is going to be a key role in getting the Dodgers not just in the playoffs, but to be successful in the playoffs and make a run at the Fall Classic.
This year is not just going to be a big year for the Dodgers, but for League himself.
He needs to be able to prove that he could be a reliable closer in the Majors. His career with the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t really work out. He had some success pitching for the Mariners, making the All-Star Game in 2011.
But now, Brandon League has the shot and the opportunity to make a name for himself and make himself become an elite reliever.
This is League’s year. He needs to come out of that bullpen ready, every single time when called upon.
He needs to be able to shut the door down and shut the lights out on every save opportunity he gets. More saves, mean more wins. More blown saves, mean more losses.
If Brandon League is to be the Dodgers’ championship closer , then he needs to be ready and shine now.