Dodgers will end spring training with a septet of set-up men

first_imgHe’s already ahead of where Morrow was a year ago. Morrow began the 2017 season in the bullpen at Triple-A and didn’t get called up for good until mid-June. By the end of the year, he was valuable enough to appear in all seven games of the World Series. Morrow then became a free agent and the Chicago Cubs rewarded him with a two-year contract worth a minimum of $21 million.In 2016, Blanton, a converted starter, didn’t become the primary set-up man to Jansen until June.Font, Baez, Josh Fields, J.T. Chargois and Ross Stripling project to be the Dodgers’ five right-handed relievers, with Alexander and Tony Cingrani the two left-handers.The Dodgers currently have another right-hander in uniform with 620 career relief appearances to his credit. But Joel Peralta is in town as a special instructor; he said he’ll be working with Baez to get the most of Baez’s fastball-slider mix.PERSONAL CAUSEMonday saw the debut of the new blue-hued bleacher seats in right field, commemorating the landing spot of Kirk Gibson’s home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.The Dodgers announced that the two seats, sold as a pair, would cost $300 per game, including food, drink and a commemorative T-shirt. The team will donate $200 from each purchase to the Kirk Gibson Foundation to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s Disease research.For Roberts, the cause is a personal one.“My mom has Parkinson’s, so I think that’s fantastic,” he said. “I know Gibby has his foundation for Parkinson’s, being such a great advocate. Fantastic.”Gibson revealed his own Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2015.ALSOInjured third baseman Justin Turner (hand) and pitcher Tom Koehler (shoulder) were back with the team Sunday and will remain here through the end of the week, Roberts said. When the Dodgers travel to Arizona for their first trip of the season, Turner and Koehler will shift their rehab there as well. “They’re going to be moving from Arizona to Los Angeles throughout their rehab,” Roberts said. …The Dodgers haven’t decided whether or not Koehler will begin the season on the 60-day disabled list, Roberts said. Doing so would create an opening on the 40-man roster, though the additional roster spot doesn’t appear necessary between now and Opening Day. …Any player who begins the season on the 60-day DL cannot be reinstated before May 28. “I think I would have had that same answer for you at this point in time in those previous two seasons,” Roberts said. “Until somebody really kind of steps forward like Joe Blanton did for us a couple years ago, and what Brandon Morrow did for us (last year), it’s kind of a wait-and-see type thing, to see where we use guys in leverage.”Of the projected seven middle relievers, left-hander Scott Alexander and right-hander Pedro Baez saw the most work in high-leverage situations last year, each with 21. If they are the first in line to set up Jansen, Roberts isn’t ready to declare that publicly.Roberts even said that right-hander Wilmer Font, who had allowed 10 runs in eight spring appearances through Sunday, and spent all of 2017 in the starting rotation at Triple-A, could wind up as the team’s primary set-up man.“Sure,” the manager said. “If he goes out there and when given opportunities, continues to perform, sure.”Font seems destined to begin the season in the Dodgers’ bullpen; he is out of minor-league options and his primary competitors for the eighth reliever’s job didn’t travel to Los Angeles from Arizona with the rest of the team. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img LOS ANGELES — The ninth inning belongs to Kenley Jansen.The eighth inning? That’s a free-for-all.More specifically, Manager Dave Roberts characterized the eighth inning as being up for grabs among the seven middle relievers who will make the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. No pitcher has earned the distinction of being the “set-up man” to Jansen; even a smaller subset of potential set-up men has yet to emerge.That’s hardly an indication that the Dodgers are looking for outside help – a tempting conclusion, perhaps, with veteran closer Greg Holland still a free agent. Yet since Andrew Friedman became the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, fostering competition from within has been the standard bullpen operating procedure.last_img