Orel Hershiser knows a thing or two about pitching in the big leagues. So when he says something about the Dodgers not having a closer in 2020, you should listen up.
Hershiser talked on the Big Swing podcast this week about the Dodgers’ bullpen, and what it should look like during a shortened season. In his mind, the bullpen should probably have a completely different flow this year.
The bullpen which I think is going to have the most pressure on it this year. Because losing a game that you were supposed to win from the seventh inning on is really going to be a gut-punch this year. But with Kenley [Jansen] at the end, and about three or four others guys that could fill in if he hits a little bit of a cold spell, I wouldn’t be surprised – I know Kenley wouldn’t wanna hear me say this…but it’s almost like you need to go bullpen-by-committee and not have a closer this year.
A bold statement from a guy that gets to work with Dodgers pitching on a daily basis during a normal season. Hershiser expanded on that thought and pointed out that there are too many guys that can get the job done on a daily basis.
To say that someone is your closer, and to have all of these other components that can close, I would go into it and protect his ego protect the bullpen’s ego and just go ‘Guys we’re gonna do this as a unit this year, it’s only 60 games, we don’t have time for someone to fall by the wayside and blow three saves in a row. So we’re gonna go with this and we’re gonna play matchup until the very last out’ and I think the Dodgers could really have a very very strong pen.
Orel nailed it when he started talking about the depth of this year’s bullpen. Joe Kelly, Brusdar Graterol, Tony Gonsolin, and Pedro Baez are all guys that could step into a high-leverage relief role at any point in their careers. Additionally, the club added former All-Star closers in Blake Treinen and AJ Ramos in the offseason. So it would be silly of the Dodgers to not utilize them to their greatest potential, right?
Hershiser breaks it down perfectly, realizing that a lot of the blame gets puts onto Kenley in these situations. He suggests that if you utilize this properly, it doesn’t just fall on one guy to take all of the blame or all of the glory. Dodgers fans have certainly dogpiled on Kenyley over the last few years, maybe this could be helpful.