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Dodgers: Hershiser Thinks There Should Not be a Closer This Year



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. 

Dodgers: Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser Will Call Road Games From the Stadium

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Talk about being a team player!? One person I would not want in my dugout is Don Cato! Always bashing our own team, players, management. Never anything productive to contribute. No, leave him on the bus back to the Bay Area w all the other trolls.

    • Hershiser knows the Dodger pitching staff as well as anyone, he worked as a pitching coach and as we all know was an elite pitcher. He has traveled with the team and understands the clubhouse dynamic.
      I like the idea of a closer by committee relying on match-ups and hopefully getting input from the Bullpen Coach on how each pitcher is feeling and throwing that day. As we all know sometimes a person is not at the top of their game everyday and the season is so short mistakes need to minimized.
      I am looking forward to seeing an energized Kelly, the new young dynamic Graterol and hopefully a re-surging Treinen, Along with Baez who with his change reinvented himself and Jansen who hopefully has gotten his control and some velocity back. Gonsolin with his splitter could be a difference maker and is good in pressure situations.
      I think the Dodgers should have one of the best bullpens in the league. Along with a top 3 starting rotation. I look for Urias to be lights out this year and show why he was the teams highest rated pitching project just a few years ago.

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