Dodgers fans and fantasy owners (self included) came into spring training with a single question about the bullpen. Which pitcher would win the job in camp? And, would he be able to keep it?
Cue the circus music.
The Dodgers became the latest squad to change out their closer on Monday when it was announced that strikeout artist Kenley Jansen would replace Javy Guerra. Don Mattingly made the move after Guerra’s latest blown save. He allowed at least one earned run in four of his past five appearances.
Guerra saved 8-of-11 games and struck out 16 batters against five walks. That’s the good side of the ledger.
He also surrendered 16 hits and five walks in his 12 1/3 innings pitched (1.70 WHIP) to accompany his bloated 5.84 ERA.
Jansen, an imposing 6-foot-5 righty, struck out 27 batters in 16 2/3 innings from the setup role against seven walks. He pitched to a 2.70 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in those 16 appearances.
I would be remiss if I failed to call out that walk total and his groundball-to-fly ball ratio (.52). While I’m among those banging the drum for his punch-out potential, there is potential for disaster.