According to manager Dave Roberts, Kenley Jansen is the closer for the Dodgers. But, how long will that last?
After Jansen got the save in Game 1 of the Wild Card series, Roberts opted to go with the rookie Graterol in Game 2. He got the save, and the Dodgers advanced. Could we see something like this carry out over the course of the postseason, with Jansen and Graterol going back-and-forth?
When asked why Graterol pitched the ninth on Thursday, Roberts said that Jansen was available, but it was the same run of hitters that he faced the night prior, he wanted to have a new arm in there.
If you were confident in your closer, wouldn’t you send him out there in a close-out game with a three-run lead? For the rookie, that was the first save of his young career, as he has zero during 33 big-league appearances. A pretty interesting time for his first, don’t you think?
During the season with the Dodgers, Graterol only pitched the ninth inning once, which came back on Opening Day where he had a seven-run lead. He pitched seven times in the eighth inning, five times in the seventh inning, five times in the sixth inning and five times in the fifth inning.
Was Roberts trying something out, or are we just reading too much into this? (Probably the second option, to be honest)
Nevertheless, it is something to think about ahead of the Dodgers’ series against the Padres. Jansen has had his struggles of late, and I don’t need to tell you what has happened over the previous years in October. If Roberts were to have a short leash with Jansen over the next couple of games, look for Graterol to potentially be his go-to weapon out of the bullpen.