With the exhibition season coming to a close and the Dodgers only producing one measly tie in 31 opportunities thus far, I have had to find other ways to amuse myself this spring training. So let’s take a look at the Dodgers’ spring saves leaderboard.
You might notice that Kenley Jansen is nowhere to be found on this list, which is by design. In the major league games he has appeared in, the appearances have mostly come earlier in the game, more yeomen-like in getting his work in rather than trying to close out a victory. Because the Dodgers were on the road on Sunday night Jansen pitched in the eighth inning, to guarantee he would get his inning of work in preparation for the regular season.
The save on Sunday went to Josh Fields, who pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the 4-2 win. That gives Fields two saves this spring, and a commanding team lead in the category. Other Dodgers pitchers with one save are Joe Broussard, Andrew Istler, Ryan Moseley, Zach Neal and Pat Venditte, none of whom are on the 40-man roster.
This is nothing new, especially since spring games don’t resemble real games in many ways, most notably with regulars often long gone by the later innings for the bulk of camp. For instance, here is a look at the Dodgers save leaders for the last few years:
- 2017: Colt Hynes, two saves
- 2016: a three-way tie between Jamey Wright, Logan Bawcom and Matt West all saving one game. Wright retired at the end of camp.
- 2015: a six-way tie at one save that included Chad Gaudin, Ryan Buchter and Joe Wieland. Pedro Baez was also in that group with the only save of his career either in spring training or in the regular season.
- 2014: Matt Magill, with two saves
Just in case
There are only two games left in spring training so there is still some time for this to change, but as of now Corey Copping and Jordan Jankowski are the leaders in the clubhouse with six spring training appearances up from minor league camp.
Those two were among a handful of pitchers who made regular trips from the minor league side, to be used if something went awry in the major league game. Dave Roberts called them the “Just in case gang.”
Justin DeFratus was part of that crew and made five appearances, while Malcom Culver and Cesar Ramos made four each. Andrew Istler was also in uniform quite a bit though he only pitched in two spring games, and saved one. He was one of several pitchers from minor league camp who made the trip to the Freeway Series, along with Parker Curry and Josh Sborz (three games each), as well as Shea Spitzbarth, who led the just in case gang in 2017 with nine spring appearances.
Tuesday’s pitching matchup
Rich Hill starts for the Dodgers on Monday night, facing Matt Shoemaker of the Angels.
Dodgers vs. Angels
Location: Dodger Stadium
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, Prime Ticket
Radio: 570 AM