While there will be a familiarity in the Dodger lineup and starting rotation, there will be a new face closing out games for the Dodgers this year. Blake Treinen, the current leader with 8 saves as a Dodger, is expected to be the closer this season.
Treinen’s eight saves as a Dodger is the lowest amount for a Dodger pitcher at the start of any season in Los Angeles Dodger history. Julio Urías is next with four career saves.
Treinen was a closer for Oakland in his three season as an Athletic. His best season in the Majors was 2018 when he pitched 80⅓ innings with 100 strikeouts. He had a 1.82 FIP and 38 saves.
With all that, earlier today, manager Dave Roberts was asked about naming a specific closer and while Treinen might be the guy, it is still not etched in stone.
Dave Roberts was asked again today if #Dodgers have a specific closer to replace Kenley Jansen: "Right now, I don't think we do. I think the easy answer is Blake (Treinen). But I don't know if that's the right answer. .. Right now where we're at, we don't have a dedicated closer"— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 26, 2022
Brusdar Graterol had an uneven 2021 season that continued to demonstrate high velocity pitches without the corresponding strikeout rate. So far in two innings of work this spring, he has struck out two and allowed no hits or walks.
Alex Vesia will be making his team-leading fourth appearance as he continues to solidify his spot with the relievers. Vesia’s only significant platoon difference was that he gave up one home run to left-handed hitters against five home runs to right-handed hitters. Even with that, right-handed hitters had a .655 OPS against Vesia which was still under MLB average of .766.
Dodgers vs. Royals lineup
|DH||Muncy (L)||3B||Witt, Jr.|
|CF||Bellinger (L)||LF||Benintendi (L)|
|LF||Lux (L)||SS||Mondesi (S)|
|1B||Rios (L)||2B||Lopez (L)|
Andre Jackson will be tonight’s starting pitcher. The 2017 draftee made his Los Angeles Dodger debut in 2021, pitching in three games in relief. Jackson could be one of the players who will test the new number of options a player uses in a season rule that is in place for 2022.
With less than two weeks to go before Opening Day, the Dodgers will have at least four regulars in today’s lineup along with backup catcher Austin Barnes and probable bench contributors Gavin Lux, Edwin Rios, Hanser Alberto and Kevin Pillar.
MLB to increase inspections for “sticky stuff”
If you notice umpires looking at pitcher’s hands this weekend, it will be part of MLB’s continued focus on use of foreign substances by pitchers. According to an Sports Illustrated article by Tom Verducci, MLB believes that pitchers found ways to circumvent the checks that started last June.
If the result of these inspections show that the pitcher’s hand is “unquestionably” sticky or shows signs of a foreign substance, ejection and suspension will immediately occur. Umpires will also now have to become judges of whether a pitcher wiping his hands prior to an inspection since that too can cause an ejection.
Spring training Game 9 info
- Teams: Royals vs. Dodgers
- Location: Surprise Stadium, Surprise, Arizona
- Time: 6:05 p.m. PT
- TV: SportsNet LA