Not only has Brandon League pitched his way out of the Dodgers’ closer job, it sounds like he won’t even be seeing any action as a setup man for a while.
Don Mattingly told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles that he plans to only use League in “less stressful” situations, which is a nice way of saying “mop-up work.” According to the manager, the Dodgers’ coaching staff will try to “piece him back together” and in the meantime they’ll go with other options to hold leads in front of closer Kenley Jansen.
All of which certainly makes a lot more sense than sticking with League in high-leverage spots just because he’s got a $22.5 million contract. Dating back to May 1 he’s thrown 17 innings with a 6.75 ERA and 9/7 K/BB ratio, blowing three saves, taking three losses, and allowing opponents to hit .361.
The Fernando Rodney Experience hasn’t been a good one for the Twins thus far. The veteran closer served up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, erasing a 4-1 lead and blowing his third save in five opportunities.
In the ninth, Didi Gregorius reached on a throwing error by Miguel Sano. Giancarlo Stanton then singled, and Gary Sanchez followed up with a walk-off three-run home run.
Rodney, 41, now sports a 6.75 ERA on the year. He inked a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Twins back in December. The club has an option for next year worth $4.25 million. If things keep going the way they’re going, the Twins aren’t going to want to pick up that option.
The Twins may even want to think about moving Ryan Pressly or Addison Reed into the closer’s role, even if just temporarily. Pressly has been terrific, tossing 13 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts. Reed has a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.