With exactly one week until Opening Day, the Dodgers are closing in on their initial roster to start the season.
Most spots have been claimed, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that roles are set in stone. The pitching staff, for example, still has multiple question marks. Who gets the last two rotation spots behind Kershaw, Bauer, and Buehler? Will Brusdar Graterol make the opening day roster? And perhaps most importantly, will Kenley Jansen be the team’s closer for the entire season?
The last question, in particular, has been a hot topic for debate all offseason. And in his latest article, The Athletic’s Jim Bowden made the bold prediction that this would not be the case.
Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen loses the closer’s role on June 7, and in a surprise move, he is replaced by Dustin May.
On the scale from never gonna happen to it’s inevitable, this prediction falls somewhere in between. Stating that Kenley Jansen won’t finish the season as the team’s closer is a safe bet, even if Jansen himself would argue otherwise. Based on his performance in recent years, this is something that feels like it’s just waiting to happen.
Where it gets interesting is predicting that Dustin May gets the gig in his place.
It’s Gonna Be May?
Through his short time in the majors, May has never closed out a game for the Dodgers. In fact, he’s only finished one game as a professional, once saving a rookie level game back in 2018. The majority of his appearances have come as a starter, but he does have experience coming out of the bullpen.
Another name that would make sense in this scenario would be Julio Urías, who the team trusted to close out both the NLCS and the World Series in 2020. He looked right at home during the biggest moments, and it isn’t too farfetched to say that he would shine in the role of closer.
Nevertheless, Dustin May has the skillset to be a dominant closer if that’s the route the team chooses to take.