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Next Man Up in the Dodgers Bullpen After Jansen’s Hospitalization

Dodgers
Mar 31, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Scott Alexander (75) throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodger fan base yielded a collective groan after hearing about Kenley Jansen’s expected month absence from baseball on Friday morning. Sometime during the day on Thursday before game one of a four game series with the Colorado Rockies, Kenley Jansen experienced chest discomfort and was immediately hospitalized.  Tests revealed that Jansen was suffering from an irregular heartbeat, a condition that Jansen has had before, particularly at Coors Field where the altitude is extremely high. The Dodger bullpen is down, but not out.

The most important goal is for Jansen to take care of his health. Being the best closer in baseball comes second. However, while Jansen is out for approximately a month, the Dodgers will have to get creative with who will step up into different positions. Here’s a brief look at how things could play out in Jansen’s absence.

 

Closer

Scott Alexander

Last 15 Games IP ERA BA Against K/9 WHIP FIP GB%
Scott Alexander 14 1.93 .191 10.29 1.00 1.94 61.3%

Alexander has been utterly dominant over his last 15 appearances. Literally every major pitching statistic for Alexander places him in elite status as a reliever. All the signs point to Alexander getting prime appearances in the 9th to record the save. Additionally, Alexander has already recorded 2 saves on the season including one last night against the Rockies in the nightmarish pitching conditions at Coors Field. Look for Dave Roberts to go confidently to Alexander to lock down games in Jansen’s absence especially against left-handed hitter heavy lineups.

Dylan Floro

Last 15 Games IP ERA BA Against K/9 WHIP FIP GB%
Dylan Floro 17.2 1.53 .105 10.19 .51 2.30 57.1%
Dodgers
May 27, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Dylan Floro (63) in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Dylan Floro has not just been good since coming over to the Dodgers in July, he’s been superb. As can be seen, his numbers are very similar to Alexander’s over his last 15 appearances, except, he’s been even better. Floro is posting an otherworldly .51 WHIP. This means that Floro is allowing 1/2 of a walk or hit each full inning he pitches. That is what a closer should be all about; keeping the bases clear of runners. Being that Floro is a right-handed pitcher, he will most likely get save chances when right-handed hitters are due up next for the opposing team. He will also most likely spell Alexander when Alexander has recorded a number saves in a short time frame. Look for Floro to sit down opposing hitters from time to time in the 9th while Jansen is out.

Set-up Man

J.T. Chargois

Last 15 Games IP ERA BA Against K/9 WHIP FIP GB%
J.T. Chargois 13.2 1.32 .200 10.54 .88 2.20 63.6%
Dodgers
May 12, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher JT Chargois (47) throws to a Cincinnati Reds batter during the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Chargois has been consistent over his last 15 games. Since coming back from the DL in July, he has posted a 63.6% ground ball ratio. He has also sat batters down regularly with a very healthy 10.54 strikeout per 9 innings ratio. Chargois is an ideal 8th inning man who will limit base runners and compile a high amount of strikeouts. Look for Chargois to handle set-up man duties.

Analysis

The truth of the matter is that the Dodger bullpen is loaded currently. There is no shortage of effective options that Roberts can go to at the end of the game to hold on to prospective leads. Names not mentioned in this article that will likely man the long-relief situations to get to the 8th and 9th inning include Caleb Ferguson and newcomer, Zac Rosscup. Additionally, it is possible that the Dodgers move a current starter to the bullpen, such as Ross Stripling or Kenta Maeda, for additional long relief help. Other middle relief help will probably come by way of newly acquired John Axford, Pat Venditte, and as scary as it is to say with his recent struggles, Pedro Baez.

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Written by Eric Morse

Born and raised in Southern Oregon, Eric has always had a love for baseball. Growing up visiting LA often to watch the Dodgers, Eric comes from a long line of Dodger fanatics. He spends his time ministering to youth and following the Dodgers.

2 Comments

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  1. Their ERA’s cited above are deceptive. The bottom line is that the bullpen has lost games or blown leads over 30 times this year. With Jansen down, we will not make the postseason.

  2. need a legit closer bottom line if want any chance to playoffs . my suggestion get reds closer offer them 2 guys Kemp and Muncy believe reds would deal

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