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Dodgers: LA Bullpen Could See the Return of Corey Knebel Real Soon



It was believed that the Dodgers would heavily seek out a high leverage reliever to help solidify a leaky bullpen. While Friedman did show interest in former Cubs’ closer Craig Kimbrel, he was ultimately traded to the South Side of Chicago.

However, with the acquisition of Max Scherzer, Danny Duffy, and now Cole Hamels, it now creates the scenario where some members of the rotation can shift to the pen come October and help fix the problem. Los Angeles can also look forward to the eventual return of Corey Knebel. Knebel recently completed his 4th rehab game with Triple-A Oklahoma City. 

He’s looked good in every outing which prompted Dave Roberts to reveal that Knebel could rejoin the team on next week’s road trip to Philadelphia and New York. 

“I think after the 1+ [one inning plus], I think it was yesterday, he’ll take a couple days off. If you look at the calendar, Wednesday Thursday, over the weekend I think next week we go on the road to Philly. I think then it’s a real possibility. Let’s get him through this week and if all goes well, we’ll see him sometime next week.”

While he did allow a run in 4 1/3 innings of work, he also struck out 7 along the way. The Dodgers could surely use his arm in the pen to help relieve Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen. With the amount of injuries that the team has suffered this season, the pen has been severely overused with bullpen games.

It wasn’t too long ago that Corey was a lights out closer with the Milwaukee Brewers. If he can continue to work toward’s becoming his old self, then the Dodgers’ bullpen problem issues may become less frequent. He’ll also be fresh enough for the team to rely on in the postseason as he has plenty of experience pitching on under the bright lights of October baseball. Maybe his return could lead to Blake Treinen finally becoming the team’s closer.

NEXT: Dave Roberts Talks About the Struggles of Victor González

Written by Adam Salcido

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  1. After that last outing by Jansen, this is great news. Still surprised AF didn’t make a move for a closer after the Sherzer, Turner trade. Knebel may be a critical piece.

  2. This is a very welcome. Jansen in the last 30 days has a 13.50 ERA, 3 blown saves, 2 losses. My guess is he’s a victim of the ‘sticky stuff” being banned. There’s two guys on our team that Roberts is far to loyal about. Belli and Jansen. This season is now ALL about ‘what have you done for me lately”, there’s no room for false loyalties… we have to catch the Giants. Lost in the Scherzer mania last night was Jansen allowing hit and a HR in the 9th… with little to no pressure. I just don’t see him being used in the playoffs. Not anymore.

    • doc will know what to do. he did last year and he’ll do it again. Jansen is fine, he pitched with a big lead, and then struck out the side!

    • You make a good point regarding Kenley, that I don’t think has been talked about enough. Kenley was so good earlier in the season and now is all the way back to his struggling, inconsistent self. The “sticky stuff” definitely could be a factor in the disparity.
      If so, it makes it even more unlikely that Jansen is going to come out of this recent funk and turn it back around. The Dodgers need to plan for that the rest of the season.

  3. Just hope Knebel can stay healthy the next 2 months. He really becomes a critical piece of the puzzle for the Dodgers’ BP. Nelson is hurt again, Gonzalez is way off his game, Kelly is just shaky enough to make you worry and Kenley is always an adventure. The younger Dodgers’ relievers, some of whom have had their moments, make you hold your breath. Bickford has been a nice surprise but we’ll really see what he’s made of down the stretch.
    Right now, the only Dodgers’ relief pitcher who I actually enjoy seeing on the mound in high leverage situations is Treinen. There is not 1 other reliever, right now, except maybe a healthy Jimmy Nelson, who I feel really confident in. That’s worrisome as heck for a team with Championship aspirations…

  4. Eventually [playoffs] there will be some combination of Gonsolin [if his shoulder heals], Price, Hamels [?] for bullpen innings in addition to Bickford [a good surprise], Nelson [if healthy, a good surprise], Treinen, Knebel [if healthy, a good surprise], Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Gonzalez [something is wrong with him], Graterol [still throwing 100+], Alexander [if he comes back from shoulder troubles] and not Uceta, Vesia, other minor leaguers who only have been on the team due to excessive injuries to the staff. Twelve reasonable possibilities. If Treinen is the closer, that is not too bad. It is Jansen’s last year of his contract so maybe he will be motivated to concentrate on what he is throwing.

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