Saturday, May 18, 2013

League Still Closer; Jansen Called Upon For Toughest Hitters, However

When it comes to which reliever he trusts with the game on the line, Don Mattingly is splitting hairs:

Don Mattingly has adjusted his late-inning bullpen use recently by deploying Kenley Jansen to face the hitters posing the greatest threat, no matter the inning.

"I don't like a committee of guys, that's always unsettling, like every day is a tryout, and that's not the environment I want for my pitchers," said Mattingly. "I want them to know I'm confident in them and trust them. It's not like you give up a run and you're out.

"But the way it's been going is the best way to do it. Kenley gets the tougher part of the order, and there's a chance of anybody in the ninth. We don't have Mariano [Rivera]. You see teams changing all the time in the last inning or two."

But Mattingly said that doesn't mean "closer" Brandon League has necessarily lost his job.

"Brandon never scares me," Mattingly said. "He always comes back with a clean slate. It's a new day. He said he likes the ball more often, he needs to keep pitching."

On the other hand, League scares the hell out of me, clean slate or not. He could certainly pitch with frequency earlier in the game, or even in another league. But Jansen definitely deserves yet another shot at the closer role--which is exactly what I think Mattingly is signalling, anyway.

What an artful Dodger!


karen said...

Mattingly..."Brandon never scares me". What Brandon is he talking about? Obviously Donnie's not watching the same "Brandon" I am. The dude scares the holy hell out of me.