Dodgers News: Mattingly Says Wright May See Expanded Role

[new_royalslider id=”68″] During the Los Angeles Dodgers’ run into the 2013 postseason, the bullpen emerged as one of the biggest strengths of the team.

Kenley Jansen took hold of the closer’s role, Brian Wilson resurrected his career and the Dodgers received key contributions from J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez and others. This season, the bullpen underwent some retooling and needed more adjustments as injuries have struck.

Off-season signee Jamey Wright has become a valuable relief option for manager Don Mattingly given his ability to pitch in multiple scenarios. Although Wright is widely viewed as a swingman, Mattingly indicated Wright’s role could expand, via Joe Morgan of MLB.com:

We’ve always kind of kept Jamey for length, but he’s kind of worked himself in to the point where it’s not really length, it could be matchup situations from the sixth to the eighth, depending who’s healthy and who’s strong that night,” said Mattingly, who would like to take advantage of the fact that Wright has limited lefties to a .161 average.

A.J. Ellis complimented Wright on his ability to succeed in a variety of situations:

The guy just keeps going along. He’s been our anchor in the bullpen,” Ellis said. “He can pitch in any situation, in any role — righties, lefties, it doesn’t really matter the matchup. It’s always a comforting feeling to see the bullpen doors open and Jamey Wright come trotting out.”

During the month of July, Wright was primarily called on in the sixth inning but that has changed in August. Only one of Wright’s six appearances this month have come in the sixth inning.

Wright is 4-2 with three holds in 45 appearances this season, which is fifth on the team. The 39 year old holds a 3.05 ERA and 1.18 WHIP that would be a career-best. With Wright’s inclusion as a late-inning reliever, he would join Wilson and Brandon League to give Mattingly a trio of righties to use at his disposal in the latter stages of games.
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