Early in December, the Dodgers made perhaps their biggest splash of the winter (so far) in acquiring former All-Star closer Corey Knebel from the Milwaukee Brewers. While he stood behind Josh Hader as the Brew Crew hurler LA fans would have hoped to see in blue, he’s still a good get for the Dodgers.
SportsNet LA anchor Alanna Rizzo spent some time with the new bullpen option where, among other things, she asked Knebel about his role expectations with his new club.
[With the Brewers] in years past, we had maybe one or two guys that knew their role, and other than that it was, ‘look, you better be ready because when that phone rings, it could be you.’ And I know that watching Dave Roberts do the same thing over the years, it’s going to be the same way. And he told me, ‘just be ready to be used.’
While it’s been frustrating at times over the years, Doc Roberts has mostly had more success over failure with the way he uses his bullpen. Aside from varied issues with pitchers like Kenley Jansen or the now-free-agent Pedro Baez, among others, the arms that seem to thrive more often than not seem to have no defined roles.
In 2020, Brusdar Graterol, Victor Gonzalez, and Blake Treinen fit this bill.
Now Knebel could be the next in a long line of successful reclamation projects without a defined role in LA. Something he seems to prefer.
I guarantee every reliever will tell you the same thing that they’d much rather throw five out of seven days over one out of seven days. And for you to do that, you’ve got to be able to throw whenever. Be ready whenever it is and I’m ready to throw whenever it is.
With all that said, expect Knebel to fill the high leverage role left open by the departure of Blake Treinen. At least when looking at the current construction of the 2021 Dodger bullpen.