Dodgers plan to experiment with their relievers, including their closer

first_imgCasey Sadler was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday to accommodate the return of pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu. Sadler was outstanding in his nine appearances, allowing only one run while permitting fewer than one baserunner per inning. But the right-hander had one option year remaining in his contract, and Roberts said “we wanted to get a look at some other guys.”Count it as one of many luxuries for a team that holds an 18-game lead in its division.“The optimal perfect matchup isn’t always possible, and it doesn’t always lead to success anyway,” Roberts said, “but I still think with the guys we have, we can put them in optimal spots.”RAISE THE NETSThe process of extending the netting at Dodger Stadium is underway.The multi-phase process began with heightening the existing nets – behind home plate, connecting the two dugouts – by an additional eight feet. Team president Stan Kasten expects this phase to be completed this week, during the team’s road trip to Miami and Atlanta.In the second phase, nets will be extended down the first- and third-base lines to the point where each wall angles toward the outfield corners. Kasten said that phase will be completed during the Dodgers’ trip to San Diego and Arizona at the end of the month.By the time the team returns home Sept. 2, the adjustments should be done “for now, until we see how it works,” Kasten said.Several major league teams have extended the protective netting at their home parks in the past year. Linda Goldbloom, a fan sitting in the loge section behind home plate at Dodger Stadium, died as a result of the injury she sustained when she was struck by a foul ball last August. Studies of the baseballs used in MLB this year have shown them to be even more aerodynamic than the balls used in the 2018 season.“We looked at all foul balls hit this year – speed, height, all those factors – until we felt good about what we’re doing,” Kasten said.ALSOAfter playing on consecutive days for Triple-A Oklahoma City, rehabbing infielder Jedd Gyorko got a day off Sunday. Roberts said Gyorko is “a week or so” away from his Dodgers debut, barring any setbacks. Gyorko was recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his wrist when he was acquired from the Cardinals at the trade deadline. … Ross Stripling began playing catch, but Roberts said there is no timetable for the right-hander to resume throwing off a mound. … Rich Hill (forearm) will play catch from 105 feet Monday. … Alex Verdugo (oblique) has yet to resume baseball activities, Roberts said. … Kiké Hernandez (left hand sprain) and Chris Taylor (left forearm fracture) will begin rehab assignments in the coming week, Roberts said.UP NEXTThe Dodgers have an off-day Monday.Tuesday: Dodgers (LHP Clayton Kershaw) vs. Marlins (TBA), 4 p.m., SportsNet LA, 570-AM Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Roberts said he might break with convention more often as the season winds down, at least as it pertains to his bullpen usage. Saturday, he wanted to give Jansen a fresh start after blowing a save opportunity the night before.“We had a great conversation (Saturday) night, actually,” Roberts said of Jansen. “The most important thing is to get him consistent work which … will allow for more consistency on the field performance-wise. There are certain save opportunities that might be compromised. But it’s still a benefit for the ball club and him to get consistent work.“You also have two guys in Joe Kelly and Pedro Baez throwing the baseball well also. Kenley’s on board with that.”Jansen is 26 for 31 in save opportunities this season. His 3.74 earned-run average is on pace for a career high in his 10th major league season.The Dodgers’ unorthodox bullpen decisions will affect more than just the ninth inning.center_img LOS ANGELES – Dodgers Kenley Jansen was healthy, present and accounted for, but he wasn’t available to pitch Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.Jansen allowed the game-tying home run Friday and threw a scoreless ninth inning in a non-save situation Saturday. It was the first time since June that Jansen had pitched on consecutive days, and Manager Dave Roberts didn’t want to work his closer to appear in a third consecutive game.The unusual pattern defied baseball orthodoxy.Jansen is on the verge of 300 career saves. Using him in a non-save situation one day, and ruling him out of a potential save situation the next day, was a decision rare enough to warrant protection by the Endangered Species Act.last_img

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