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Dodgers: MLB Analyst Predicts Kenley Jansen Will Lose Closer Role to Surprising Replacement



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?

Related: Kenley Jansen Doesn’t Believe He Has Something to Prove

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.

NEXT: Julio Urias Talks About Change to His Curveball That Led to Postseason Dominance

Written by Daniel Palma

Daniel is an avid sports fan who loves his hometown teams. If he's not watching baseball, you can find him playing or coaching. No matter what, he'll always root for the Boys in Blue!

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  1. To be fair, the article should say, “lose his closer role again.”

    Dustin May being the closer is only half crazy. His stuff is nasty and if he only needed to pitch one inning he could let it all hang out. It would be interesting to watch

  2. There doesn’t need to be a defined closer role, so all this talk on who is going to be the closer is laughable. Jansen will get the bulk of the work until he proves he cant handle it, but you will also see Treinen, Knebel, Kelly, Gonzalez, and Nelson all get turns. Sometimes its not who closes out the game that is important, its who has to get through the meat of the order during the last 6 outs.

    Luckily for the Dodgers they have plenty of options to close out games and get tough outs.

  3. There are at least 5 guys more capable to close than Jansen. Pick one. Or close by committee. Either way is better than going with Jansen. At most I would use Jansen as an 8th inning set up guy.

  4. LoL… If you dont watch the dodgers that much dustin is a popular pick for closer… He is the new good white guy.. I get it… But If you do watch lots you know that Dustin is far from the best candidate currently… Dustin is still having control issues. I don’t think by june 6 this will be fixed enough to rely him on the most important outs.. Right now the best call for replacement of jansen who will be ready by June 6 is Gaterol or Gonzalez. They are both mentally if closer already and have the control and lights out stuff.. They has what it takes to be a successful closer.. Dustin is also very good but his control would be too much of an issue. Who knows maybe he will figure it out by then and not lose velocity gaining control..

    • What’s with the “new good white guy” BS that you get? An unnecessary foolish comment that speaks volumes about you. We’re all blue here and most talk about Dustin for job because he throws 100 mph with little room in the rotation. I personally think Jansen will surprise naysayers this season, Graterol will eventually grow into the role, and May is a terrible choice.

  5. way early for this article except that jansen will be out. from watching on tv, jansen looks soooo hitable. no velocity. no cut. no command.

    with regards to who will replace him, as Dodger106W said it….5 guys are capable. may is a good guess but if he turns out to be the best pitcher on the squad, he’ll move out a starter. i’d like to see gonsolin and may start and urias and price bolster the bullpen.

  6. Daniel how you say KJ will not be the closer as the year ends. But it might be true…Julio was the savior last year out of pen. If Julio is a predicted starter how can he become a reliever ? Julio should become a reliever from the get go. There should be two key closers…a right and left hander

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