Dodgers Begin To Move Away From Set Closers In Minor Leagues

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Once the Los Angeles Dodgers learned of the injury to Kenley Jansen’s foot, they immediately began saying that they wouldn’t name a replacement.

Instead of handing the reins to another reliever, the Dodgers said that the later innings would be based on matchups, and to this point, that’s been somewhat true. Three different pitchers have earned a save this season, with Joel Peralta leading with three. While only three have recorded a save, nine different pitchers have finished a ballgame for the Dodgers.

According to Pedro Moura of the OC Register, Sergio Santos saw the shift in the organization’s philosophy in Triple-A:

Dodgers reliever Sergio Santos began the year with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate before being recalled last week. He said Oklahoma City manager Damon Berryhill addressed the team on reporting day with a speech to that effect.

“It was a conscious thing, beginning when we started the season,” Santos said this week.

While David Aardsma is effectively the closer in Oklahoma City, Santos said that’s because it’s harder to implement as you get closer to the Majors:

We didn’t necessarily put it into play,” Santos said. “It’s a little tougher to do in Triple-A than in the lower levels.”

While it appears the team is trying to stray away from closers, Moura mentioned that through the first month of the season, there have been 14 different pitchers with a save throughout the organization, which is the same as last year.

The Dodgers may claim to want to get away from closers, but the mentality is more of the fact that they want versatility in their bullpens. Metrics show that relievers should be used when needed, not based on what inning it is. That would appear to be what the Dodgers want as a ball club.


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Vincent Samperio

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

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