LOS ANGELES — — This morning, manager Dave Roberts talked about the team’s plans regarding their bullpen usage for the next seven weeks of the regular season.
One part of the plan could see closer Kenley Jansen pitching in non-save situations as a way to get him more consistent work.
“Kenley is down today [Sunday],” Roberts said, “But I think that going forward, and in talking to Kenley, we had a great conversation last night actually. The most important thing is to get him consistent work, which our belief will allow for more consistency on the field, performance wise.”
“There are certain save opportunities that might be compromised but it is still a benefit for the ballclub and him to get that consistent work,” Roberts said, “and you have two guys in Joe Kelly and Pedro Báez who are throwing the ball well also. So, Kenley’s on board with that, to have him not pitch five, six days in a row, where you going do everything we can to avoid that.”
With an 18-game lead, the Dodgers have the ability to work out their ideas without an immediate impact to their place in the standings. Roberts understands this is a luxury that his team’s success so far has given them.
“It is a luxury, it’s a luxury and it’s always a tougher dynamic when you are talking about a closer because you want that guy available in a save situation but when you have other guys that can support him, it’s certainly makes my life considerably easier, yeah, but it’s important that Kenley buys into that.”
Roberts said that the plan is to maybe use pitchers in different roles than they have pitched so far this season.
“Yeah, I think that certain guys that we feel should have success against a certain runway or a particular hitter,” Roberts said, “to see how these guys respond to come in to get a guy out, to get four outs, what you might potentially do in a postseason, each day you are going to see more of that for certain.”