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Dodgers likely to stick with Javy Guerra as closer

Feb 21, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

Javy Guerra AP

Javy Guerra did an excellent job stepping into the Dodgers’ closer role as a rookie, converting 21-of-23 saves with a 2.31 ERA and 38/18 K/BB ratio in 47 innings after replacing Jonathan Broxton.

Kenley Jansen was even better in a setup role, setting the all-time record for strikeouts per nine innings while holding opponents to a ridiculous .159 batting average.

Jansen’s dominance led to some speculation that he’d be given an opportunity to supplant Guerra in the ninth inning, but today manager Don Mattingly told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he’s “going into camp thinking Javy is the guy.”

That could change in a hurry, of course, and having Jansen available to pitch any inning and any situation could potentially be more valuable to the Dodgers than limiting him to the ninth inning with leads of 1-3 runs anyway. Either way, if Jansen pitches like he has while posting a 2.12 ERA and 137 strikeouts through his first 81 career innings I’d be surprised if he’s not closing games at some point. Guerra is good, but he’s great.

  1. drunkenhooliganism - Feb 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Hipsters likely to stick with Che Guevara as clever fashion statement.

  2. alara07 - Feb 21, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Javy Guerra was a great clutch pitcher during bases loaded and 0 outs situations. Jansen was a dominating power pitcher, hard to belief he was a catcher 2 years ago before converted to pitcher. Now Dodgers need 2B, 3B, and a LF, and an Owner.

  3. dodger88 - Feb 21, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    I love Jansen putting out fires in the 7th or 8th and setting up Guerra for a 1-2-3 9th but I agree that it will be tempting to name Jansen the closer if he proves just as dominant this year. He also has to stay healthy as he hit the DL a couple of times last year.

  4. AlohaMrHand - Feb 21, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    He was solid at the end of last year.I won’t miss Brockton one bit.

  5. lostsok - Feb 21, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Clearly they want Jansen even more comfortable on the mound. That makes sense for a converted catcher. Give him another 30-50 appearances to gain confidence. He stuff dehinges hitters knees.

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