Kimbrel Is Out As a Dodger; May Goes on the IL.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2022

The million-dollar question for the Dodgers is: Who will close during the postseason?

Friday, after another blown save, Dodger manager Dave Roberts announced Craig Kimbrel will have another role than closer. From the Dodgers acquiring Kimbrel from the Chicago White Sox for AJ Pollock, who has had a poor offensive season, Kimbrel has been given Dodger fans everywhere a heart attack whenever he appeared in a game. He rarely has had a clean ninth inning.

The Dodgers thought Blake Treinen would provide a backup plan for Kimbrel. During the 2022 regular season, Treinen, who had been a reliable great reliever in a Dodger uniform, has pitched in only five games this season. Treinen narrowly missed season-ending shoulder surgery. He is not bouncing back after pitching the way the Dodgers wanted. The likelihood of Treinen pitching during the postseason is slim.

Unless the Dodgers use Chris Martin, who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs Saturday before the Major-League trading deadline, as their closer, they will go with an inexperienced closer. While Martin was a member of the Cubs, he allowed many home runs. However, as a Dodger, Martin has been brilliant. Martin has performed during the postseason before. He should be the Dodger closer throughout the postseason.

Evan Phillips has been fantastic this year as the Dodger primary setup man. Before the 2022 season, Phillips was an unknown reliever who was released by the Tampa Bay Rays. With Mark Prior’s special magical teaching, Phillips has added an unhittable slider. While Phillips has had a few saves this season, the postseason is a different animal.

Alex Vesia has had a marvelous season even though he had a few rough spots. Vesia is excitable, and in the playoffs, a closer needs ice water in his veins. Undoubtedly, later in

his career, Vesia will be a fabulous closer.

Both Brusdar Graterol and Yency Almonte could have been a closer, but they are coming off injuries. Although Graterol is active, will he have enough time to perfect his stuff going into the playoffs? Almonte is on a rehabilitation assignment in Oklahoma City. Will Almonte be able to participate in the postseason?

Saturday, the Dodger pitching staff suffered a blow. Dustin May with back stiffness went on the IL. May will not pitch again this regular season. Will he be ready for the postseason? Lately, coming off Tommy John surgery, May has struggled with the command of the strike zone.

Nobody knows if Tony Gonsolin will be ready for the playoffs. According to Roberts, Gonsolin will have a different role from a traditional starting role since there is no time to have Gonsolin build his endurance to be a starter.

Andrew Heaney has been ineffective, and the Dodgers should not rely on Heaney.

Going into the postseason, the Dodgers have Julio Urías and Clayton Kershaw. Both have performed amazingly.

Like in the 2021 postseason, the Dodger pitching staff is limping into the 2022 postseason. Many baseball fans think the 2020 Dodger world championship is unreal after 60 regular season games. The Dodgers need this year’s world championship to be taken seriously as a dynasty

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