Evan Phillips isn’t the Dodgers Closer; But Also, He Is, Dave Roberts Talks Role
We’re only 8 games in to the new season and if you ask the Dodgers front office, they’ll tell you they still don’t have a closer. If you look at the stats, you’ll see that Evan Phillips leads the team with 2 saves. If you ask Evan Phillips if he feels like the closer, he won’t deny it.
The Dodgers have a closer.
Earlier this week, Dave Roberts did that thing where he says a bunch of words to try to avoid saying the obvious following Phillips’ second straight save for LA.
“He’s a high-leverage pitcher and we’ll kind of see how it goes.”
Sounds like the Dodgers have a closer?
Phillips was asked point blank if he felt as if he were being used as a closer early in the season.
“It’s hard to say ‘No,’ I guess,”
Feels like the Dodgers have a closer!
In reality, Roberts will attempt to use Phillips whenever and where ever the situation best dictates. While the pitcher agrees he feels like he’s been used as the closer, he knows his role will likely remain as the guy that gets the best hitters out late in a ballgame. Whether that’s in the ninth inning, or seventh inning.
“It was so instilled in me last year that what I was doing was impactful that I truly believe every out that I get is impactful,” Phillips said. “So I do think that mindset helps me when it is the ninth inning and there’s a bunch of external pressure that comes with that. My way to get past that is not to treat it any differently than I would any outing. I had to double-check it was the ninth inning after I got the second out.”Via Bill Plunkett, OC Register
Maybe the Dodgers don’t quite have a closer, but they do have a guy that will likely get the lion’s share of opportunities until guys like Daniel Hudson and Alex Reyes make their returns from the injured list.
Phillips should be back online tonight after being shut down on Friday night. Noah Syndergaard makes his second start for the Dodgers and will face Zach Davies in the desert.