Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Brandon League is out as closer
By Mark Saxon
LOS ANGELES -- Monday night, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly watched his closer, Brandon League, blow his fourth save in 17 chances, frittering away a two-run lead against the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks and squandering a strong performance by Clayton Kershaw.
Tuesday, he made a change. Mattingly said Kenley Jansen will assume the closer's duties and League will be shifted back to eighth-inning duties, his role most of his career.
"We've been trying to stabilize the back of the bullpen from the very beginning," Mattingly said. "It's an unsettling feeling late in games. We haven't given ourselves that many opportunities to win those games, so when you do and then you can't close it, it hurts the whole team."
League has a 6.00 ERA and 1.458 WHIP. Jansen has a 2.53 ERA and 1.000 WHIP. League has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.86. Jansen's is 7.33.
Mattingly had been using Jansen to attack the other team's best hitters, but that doesn't work if the seventh- and ninth-inning relievers can't hold the line. The chore of ending tight games successfully has been short-circuited because League and Ronald Belisario are struggling in tandem.
Monday, Jansen retired Willie Bloomquist, Paul Goldschmidt and Cody Ross, but League imploded starting with the bottom of Arizona's lineup.
"I don't know that it works better this way," Mattingly admitted. "I wish I could say we've got the sixth through ninth covered, you get there and it's over. But a lot of teams have bullpen problems."
The Dodgers also brought up some potential reinforcements from Triple-A Albuquerque: outfielder Alex Castellanos and right-handed reliever Chris Withrow. They put Scott Van Slyke, who was dealing with left shoulder bursitis from some awkward outfield dives, on the 15-day disabled list and optioned shortstop Justin Sellers back to Triple-A.
Withrow, 24, was a first-round draft pick in 2007 and was 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 22 appearances this season. He throws a mid-90s fastball. Castellanos, 26, was batting .270 with nine home runs, eight steals and 28 RBIs.
Here are lineups for Tuesday night's game:
1. Gerardo Parra CF
2. Willie Bloomquist 2B
3. Paul Goldschmidt 1B
4. Miguel Montero C
5. Cody Ross RF
6. Jason Kubel LF
7. Martin Prado 3B
8. Didi Gregorius SS
9. Ian Kennedy RHP
1. Skip Schumaker LF
2. Nick Punto 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
4. Yasiel Puig RF
5. Andre Ethier CF
6. Juan Uribe 3B
7. Tim Federowicz C
8. Luis Cruz SS
9. Zack Greinke RHP