Dodgers: Should Blake Treinen Be New Closer? Pros & Cons of Replacing Kenley Jansen With Treinen

Blake Treinen has put together a stellar season in his second year with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Treinen has once again established himself as one of the truly elite relievers in the game and many Dodgers fans want to see him replace Kenley Jansen as LA’s full-time closer.

We break down Blake’s dominance on the mound of late and discuss the pros and cons of having him supplant Kenley as LA’s closer. Plus, Dodgers fans voice their support for moving Kenley Jansen off the closer’s role in favor of Blake Treinen.


Over 3,000 fans shared their thoughts on Blake in the 9th inning and close to 75% of those fans want him as the closer.

Now, let’s not take this as a slight on Kenley Jansen exclusively — Kenley is still one of the better back-end arms in baseball, but Blake Treinen might just plainly be the better option for save opportunities in 2021. Especially into the postseason.

Where do you stand, Dodgers Nation? Particularly after Kenley’s dominant save on Friday night.

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Doug McKain

Doug McKain is a lifelong Dodger fan and hosts Dodgers Nation’s “DNpostgame” show online. He also hosts Dodgers DougOut and the LA Sports Report on YouTube. DMAC is also a rabid Lakers fan, and lover of all Los Angeles sports.


  1. yes i do believe treinen should take over, BUT it’s not as cut-and-dry as you may think…as amazing as BT has been since june, he also has four saves and four BLOWN saves. granted, all those BS’s were early in the season.

    also, in this i tend to agree with droberts: the idea of a traditional closer as the guy who only comes in for the purpose of finishing the game is NOT necessarily the best way to preserve leads and go on to win. the idea of using your best guy against their best guys has merit. it’s non-traditional, but unless you have a PERFECT setup with 2 or 3 DOMINANT setup guys to go with a dominant closer, it’s nice to have a guy you can bring in to shut down THEIR best hitters, whether it’s the 7th, 8th, or 9th inning. which means you kind of have to do closer by committee, which is something i’ve talked about before.

    as for kenley…i don’t think he’s washed up, and i’m stilled really impressed with the first half he had…but ALL THESE DAMN WALKS, MAN…so yeah, for KJ it should be, bring him in with clean bases, and unless you have no choice, bring him in when you can afford for him to give up a run and still win. and invest in good blood pressure meds.

    1. The problem with that reasoning is that if you really believed it you would be bringing Kenley in earlier in games to face their best hitters, but that never happens. He is strickly ending games.

  2. I’m not sure what the controversy is. Kenley isn’t reliable consistently. Treinen is. By definition you want a closer to be effective and consistent, or at least most managers do.

    No tweeting zone…

  3. Well, at least for today, it’s a good thing that Treinen wasn’t the closer.
    He gives up the 2 out 2 run HR in the 7th and Jansen gets the save in the 9th.
    Of course, who knows what Treinen might have done today, if he only came in to close in the 9th, but it’s ironic that things turned out the way they did in today’s game.
    Another 1 run win and another “ugly” win in some respects, but a big win, especially since the Giants, after losing 2 straight, were up to their old tricks and rallied to beat the A’s 6-5 on a 1 out 2 run HR by Lamont Wade in the 9th.
    That dude has more clutch hits and has won more games for S.F. than just about anybody even though he’s only a .250 hitter with a .320 OBP. However, he hits for power and he has an uncanny knack for delivering in the clutch, especially with the game on the line.
    Anyway, Dodgers run continues and they are doing a great job putting heat on the Giants.

  4. Dodgers had huge chance to widen their lead in the 7th inning. Bases full. Nobody out, and 1 run scores on a walk followed by the next 3 batters making an out to kill the rally. Jansen did get the save, but had the offense did their job, the 9th inning would not have been a save situation.

  5. Both should share closer duties as they have done this last week. It has been quite efficient, hasn’t it? And then come playoff time: go with the hottest hand – as we did last year (it kind of worked, didn’t it?). It will do no good to demote Kenley > just elevate Treinen. Similar to what they did with Trea Turner and Cory Seager. It’s perfect with Turner playing 2b rather than “demoting” Seager. Y’all love to denigrate our manager, but he seems to navigate these problems like a genius. (Even though Joc and Kiké left to find more playing time eleswhere, he always motivated them 110%) Imagine someone like Tony LaRussa trying to deal with this situation. Doc has always been the best manager for dealing with these sensitive issues. Glad that none of you armchair complainers are the manager!

  6. Close by committee: Treinan, Knebel, Jansen…in any order, but Jansen cannot go in back-to-back games. Use Vesia there…

  7. There are comments here for both sides, though it seems as though some just don’t like Kenley and not for some shaky outings. Everyone was praising Treinen for a13 pitch closing, but damn few or more realistically none bothered to talk about Kenley’s 9 pitch close on Friday. Kenley has saved the last 2 games and there is again no love. This man has given his heart (literally) and soul for this team. As good as Treinen is, Kenley is our closer. Have to wonder just how many of you that are screaming to the high heavens to get rid of Kenley are nothing more than band wagon jumpers. I for one and I would like to think many of you are have been Dodger fans all of your life. I started rooting for the Dodgers when they wore a “B” on the front of their hats. Coming into a game to protect a one run lead is no easy task and Kenley has performed many times over in those situations. Many, many more than he hasn’t.

  8. It seems most “fans” are missing the point. Treinen has been used to pitch to the heart of the opposing team’s lineup late in the game. It may be the 7th or 8th inning. I think this strategy has worked pretty well so far. The traditional “closer” role is really a thing of the past just like the complete game. Why so many “fans” want to change a winning formula is inconceivable to me. The problem the Dodgers are having seems to be defense behind the pitchers and situational hitting. The Dodgers’ bullpen ranks #2 in the MLB. The starters rank #1. Kenley is not who he use to be but he is not the problem.

  9. I would have Jansen be the 8th inning setup man, and Treinen be the closer. this even though most often the opponents have their 1-4 hitters batting in the 8th. the reason is that when runs are given up in the 8th, we have an extra inning to overcome the deficit. so better the 8th than the 9th, when half the time it is a walkoff. Plus, Roberts never has anyone backing up Jansen in the pen (in time to help). So it is do or die with KJ. I would always have someone reliable ready to back up Jansen (or anyone), to rescue the inning before it is too late. So I would have Treinen by the guy for a 4-out save if needed rather than KJ.

  10. It seems Jansen struggles every time he’s on the mound. Even when things are going well, you can see he is laboring and under stress. He gets himself into trouble more times than not. It’s clear he’s past his prime and it’s unfair to expect him to be the closer he once was. That being said, I agree with others that suggested that maybe more than one closer is the best solution. IMHO, let the circumstances dictate who is called upon more than blind trust in just one man.

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