"It's not a move you really want to make," said Don Mattingly, channeling Judge Smails, on his decision to remove Javy Guerra as closer.
In a move that was expected by everyone, including Javy Guerra himself, the Dodgers have a new closer, starting with Monday's game against the San Francisco Giants. Guerra is out as Dodgers closer, with Kenley Jansen assuming the ninth inning role for now.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly met with Guerra earlier Monday, a meeting that Guerra knew was coming.
"He came in early and told me he figured it was coming," Mattingly said of his meeting with Guerra. "He said, 'You don't even have to explain it, I understand.' He's not wanting to not get guys out. It says something about the unselfishness of Javy that he wants what's best for the team. He understands that he hasn't been getting outs at the end of the game."
In his last five outings, Guerra has blown two saves, suffered one loss in a non-save situation, and allowed two runs in the ninth inning in another outing, a game he entered with a tie score.
"I said all along that I didn't want to have to do this, but I didn't want to be hardheaded either," Mattingly said. "It's kind of like guys that I think can hit lefties, but if they don't the game tells me they're not doing it. With Javy, the game's really making the decision for me."
Jansen, meanwhile, has a 2.70 ERA, and is tied for the major league lead with 16 games pitched. Jansen's 27 strikeouts, in 16 2/3 innings, are the most by a reliever in baseball.
"He's going to get the first shot at it," Mattingly said of Jansen. "I've known all along that Kenley with his strikeouts profiles as that kind of guy."
Mattingly said Guerra will be used in various situations, and that he expects Guerra to remain a valuable part of his bullpen.
"I want to try to get this guy back," Mattingly said. "He's going to be a valuable guy. We're going to need big outs from guys."
No Disabled List For Infielders
Jerry Hairston Jr. strained his left hamstring on Sunday, an injury that was expected to land the infielder on the disabled list. But that is not the case, for now.
"Hairston is a lot better than we thought he was going to be. We're going to bit the bullet with Jerry for a day and see where we're at," Mattingly said. "What makes that possible is that Juan Uribe feels like he can go."
Uribe is making his first start in a week, after being limited to a single pinch hitting appearance in the last five games after re-injuring his left wrist during batting practice. Uribe did not see a specialist but will have an MRI on his wrist, a move Mattingly described as precautionary.
"They're going to get an MRI, more for the future than anything, to compare to past results," Mattingly said. "The [cortisone] shot he got in Colorado achieved what they thought it would, as far as getting him relief and feeling better to where he's ready to roll again"
Matt Kemp was cleared by the training staff and deemed 100%, so he returns to the starting lineup after a tight left hamstring kept him out of Sunday's lineup. It's a good thing too, as Kemp is 20-for-47 with two home runs and seven walks against Barry Zito, starting tonight for the Giants. Kemp has hit .426/.500/.617 against the southpaw, with both home runs coming last season.
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket