The Dodgers entered their 2021 Spring camp with only one area of concern. The bullpen has been an issue in years past, but the departure of a few good arms left many to wonder if they could be as good as 2020.
Andrew Friedman helped to ease those worries by signing Blake Treinen to a team-friendly deal. He also went out and signed or traded for a handful of arms that the Dodgers are hoping can bounceback. That includes guys like Brandon Morrow, Jimmy Nelson, Corey Knebel, Garret Cleavinger, and a few others.
Most of those guys have already looked sharp and have a good chance to make the roster. But Corey Knebel might be one of the standouts so far in Spring. In terms of usage, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts views him much like Blake Treinen. He can be a late-inning guy that comes into big spots in important games.
I think as far as leverage, I feel great with both of them. I would say that Blake is a tick above as far as usage potential early. Outside of that, I’m seeing them in the same light…I trust both guys to command the baseball. To get left, to get right out.
If the Dodgers can use Knebel effectively in that role, their bullpen could be phenomenal. They would have 3 guys on their hands that have closed out games for a decent amount of their careers between Jansen, Knebel, and Treinen.
The Dodgers not possibly not having Joe Kelly to start the season makes Knebel even more valuable. He tossed another scoreless inning on Sunday afternoon striking out the side. Through 6 innings pitched, he now has 7 strikeouts and just 2 walks.