Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers Fantasy Baseball Daily Bullpen Updates and Closer Depth Chart

Closer 1st in line 2nd in line 2016 Closer Updated
LAD Kenley Jansen Chris Hatcher Jim Johnson Kenley Jansen 9/17/15

Previous updates:

September 17, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Kenley Jansen continued his impressive season, nailing down his 32nd save with a clean inning last night. However, with the Dodgers holding a 7.5 game lead in the NL West, they may look to limit his workload going forward in order to save him for the playoffs. Jansen wasn’t used in a non-save situation on Tuesday during a lengthy extra-innings affair, and if the Dodgers keep Jansen from throwing back-to-back days no matter what, Chris Hatcher would benefit.

Hierarchy remains: Jansen | Hatcher | Johnson.

September 12, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Jim Johnson pitched the fourth down 10, which is enough to elevate Chris Hatcher past him in the Dodger pecking order.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Hatcher | Johnson.

September 6, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — For the second night in a row, Chris Hatcher got the call in the eighth inning in a game where closer Kenley Jansen was used in the ninth.  Hatcher has only given up a couple runs in ten appearances since returning from the disabled list in mid-August, and looks to be working his way back to a meaningful role in the back end of the Dodgers’ bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Johnson | Hatcher.

August 30, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless eighth inning ahead of closer Kenley Jansen last night.  Johnson has now picked up a save and two holds in his last three appearances for the Dodgers, and could finally be settling in to the set-up man that the Dodgers were hoping they were getting when they traded for Johnson back at the end of July.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Johnson | Avilan.

August 28, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Jim Johnson picked up his first save with LA since being traded from the Braves before the deadline. He pitched a clean ninth inning in a one-run game in place of Kenley Jansen, who had pitched on the previous two nights (and three of the last four) and was unavailable. Johnson’s Dodgers tenure got off to a rough start (with runs in six of his first nine appearances), and before you do anything crazy, remember that Juan Nicasio, Luis Avilan and J.P. Powell were all unavailable, too, leaving Chris Hatcher (remember him?) to pitch the eighth inning. Still, this might be a sign of higher-leverage things to come for Johnson. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Avilan | Johnson.

August 27, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Juan Nicasio was activated prior to Tuesday’s game, and how has now picked up two straight eighth-inning holds. Meanwhile, Pedro Baez has not pitched in a week, despite manager Don Mattingly saying that Baez is healthy. Instead, the Dodgers have used a smorgasbord of relievers in the seventh and eighth innings before getting to Kenley Jansen, including lefties Luis Avilan and J.P. Howell. Avilan has picked up two big eighth-inning holds in the last two games, striking out Jay Bruce in both contests with multiple men on base, including “our biggest out of the season” according to Mattingly on Tuesday. For now, Avilan and Nicasio appear to be the top eighth-inning options, but the situation remains fluid as the Dodgers try and find ways to get to the ninth.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Avilan | Nicasio.

August 25, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – Yimi Garcia, who closed for a short spell for the Dodgers earlier this year, was sent to AAA yesterday. J.P. Howell slides up to take his spot on the hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Baez | Howell.

August 15, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — After two months, the Dodgers activated Chris Hatcher from the disabled list, only to see Juan Nicasio take his place with an abdominal strain. Yimi Garcia, recently recalled from Triple-A, should return to a higher-leverage role.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Baez | Garcia.

August 10, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – Jim Johnson was already off to a very rocky start to his Dodgers career, and that was before Sunday night’s historically bad outing. After a shellacking like that, it’s hard to picture Don Mattingly giving Johnson any more high-leverage chances for a good while. The only two Dodgers middle relievers who have been doing their jobs as of late are Pedro Baez and Juan Nicasio, and we’ll slot them in to the hierarchy for the time being.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Baez | Nicasio.

August 8, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Jim Johnson pitched a clean ninth in a tie game, but when he came back out for the tenth, he loaded the bases without getting anyone out on his way to taking the loss. He’s now appeared in three games for the Dodgers, and has given up at least one earned run in each. How long can the Dodgers keep trusting him in tight spots?

Hierarchy remains: Jansen | Johnson | Baez.

July 30, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — LA has apparently acquired Jim Johnson from Atlanta, along with lefty Luis Avilan, giving the Dodgers an incredibly deep bullpen. We don’t think Johnson will challenge Kenley Jansen for save opportunities, but we do slot him ahead of Pedro Baez, J.P. Howell, Juan Nicasio, recently recalled Yimi Garcia, and Avilan, all of whom have been effective in high-leverage work.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Johnson | Baez.

July 9, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — A day after getting a spot start, Yimi Garcia was optioned to Triple A. Manager Don Mattingly said it was to give Garcia a breather after the young righty has been used in 40 games this year. J.P. Howell has been the most effective reliever behind Jansen and Baez, so look for his role to expand with Garcia out of the mix.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Baez | Howell.

July 5, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — J.P. Howell recorded his first save since 2011 last night, as Kenley Jansen was given the night off after pitching in three of the last four days.  Pedro Baez got the last out of the 8th and stayed on to get the first two outs of the 9th, before Howell came on to strike out the only batter he faced.  If Baez had been able to pitch a cleaner 9th inning he would have gotten the save, and since Yimi Garcia was used for one out in the 8th, it looks like Baez could be the go-to righty on days when Jansen is not available.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Baez | Garcia.

June 24, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Joel Peralta’s first game back from the DL did not go as smoothly as he would have liked. He loaded the bases without recording an out before Kenley Jansen was called on to put out the fire. Jansen got one out before surrendering the walk-off sac fly. Peralta’s return is a welcome sign in the beat-up Dodger bullpen, and he probably should have been given an easier first inning than the 10th in a 0-0 game.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Garcia | Peralta.

June 18, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — The injury struggles continue for the Dodgers, as Chris Hatcher was put on the DL, retroactive to Monday, with a strained oblique. Help may be on the way soon, as Joel Peralta, Brandon League, Paco Rodriguez and Pedro Baez are all on rehab assignments, but until then look for the banged up J.P. Howell to fill in as the emergency option in the Dodgers bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Garcia | Howell.

June 5, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — The mystery surrounding closer Kenley Jansen’s absence has been solved. Jansen, who has a history of heart trouble, felt sick to his stomach during Wednesday’s game and was found to have high blood pressure when checked by a doctor, so he was held out as a precaution while his bullpen mates blew the game. On Thursday night, no late-inning relievers were needed as LA lost 7-1. Jansen should be good to go if needed on Friday.

Hierarchy remains: Jansen | Hatcher | Garcia.

June 4, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen was unavailable to shut down a two-run game in the 9th, and that proved to be costly as Adam Liberatore, Yimi Garcia, J.P. Howell and Chris Hatcher all combined to blow the lead and take the loss. Jansen refused to talk to media after the game, but a team spokesman said Jansen wasn’t feeling well, and manager Don Mattingly would only add that it came up during the game. Rick Sutcliffe, who was part of the broadcast team, even “sent prayers” to Jansen and the Dodgers. Jansen has a history of heart trouble, but it doesn’t appear to be the issue here and he may even be available Thursday. There’s certainly more to the story and hopefully Jansen or the team sheds more light on the subject Thursday. For now, Jansen remains a closer that will be closely monitored.

Hierarchy remains: Jansen | Hatcher | Garcia.

May 18, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – It didn’t take long for Kenley Jansen to return to his full-time closer position, and Sunday’s 1-0 game gave a good look at how the rest of the bullpen will be employed. The Dodgers went to Yimi Garcia in the 7th and Chris Hatcher in the 8th before Jansen got his first save, and we’ll position the new asterisk-free hierarchy in the same fashion.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Hatcher | Garcia.

May 17, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Kenley Jansen is supposed to be eased back into the closers’ role but that might not end up happening.  After Friday’s outing, Jansen said he feels ready to close games.  Manager Don Mattingly also said that Jansen didn’t look rusty at all.  In other Dodgers’ bullpen news, Sergio Santos followed Jansen’s four strikeout inning on Friday with one of his own last night.

Hierarchy remains: *Jansen | Garcia | Hatcher.
* closer-by-committee

May 16, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Kenley Jansen is just showing off. Activated from the DL on Friday afternoon, he came on in the eighth with the Dodgers up two, and proceeded to strike out four batters in one inning, on only 14 pitches. Don Mattingly called on lefty Adam Liberatore for the platoon advantage in the ensuing save situation; when he put two men on, Juan Nicasio entered to earn the save. The asterisk remains with Kenley for now, but its days are numbered.

Updated hierarchy: *Jansen | Garcia | Hatcher.
* closer-by-committee

May 15, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — The most volatile bullpen in baseball lived up to its reputation Thursday night, with Yimi Garcia coughing up a three-run homer in a rough 9th inning, blowing the save and taking the loss against the Rockies. Garcia has now allowed five runs in his last two outings, inflating his ERA from 0.63 to 3.38. Pedro Baez was likely next in line before he was placed on the disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle. Manager Don Mattingly said Baez could be out the next few weeks. Kenley Jansen, meanwhile, is healthy at the right time; he’s likely to be activated on Saturday, with a Friday return still possible. Stay tuned.

Updated hierarchy: *Garcia | Hatcher | Howell.
* closer-by-committee

May 14, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen was due back on Saturday, but his return may get moved up a day after Pedro Baez left Wednesday’s game with a right pectoral injury. Don Mattingly said Jansen won’t be activated Thursday, but if Baez’s MRI on Thursday isn’t promising, that Friday return seems extremely likely. If Baez does indeed hit the DL, keep an eye on rookie Adam Liberatore. He took the loss on Wednesday, but had entered the game with 9.2 scoreless innings, retiring 28 of the first 29 batters he faced.

Hierarchy remains: *Garcia | Hatcher | Baez.
* = closer-by-committee.

May 12, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen is on track to be activated from the disabled list on Saturday, but Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly will not immediately reinstate Jansen as closer. Expect Dodger save opportunities to remain unpredictable in the short term.

Hierarchy remains: *Garcia | Hatcher | Baez.
* = closer-by-committee.

May 5, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – Chris Hatcher was tasked with holding on to the Dodgers’ two-run lead in the 8th inning, coming into the game with 2 inherited runners on base. He was ineffective, coughing up three runs and earning his third loss and first blown save of the season. Though he might still get a chance at a hold here or there, we’d be a bit surprised to see him get any more save chances before Kenley Jansen’s return.

Hierarchy remains: *Garcia | Hatcher | Baez.
* = closer-by-committee

May 3, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Chris Hatcher got the call in the 9th last night and converted for his second save of the season.  Although Hatcher got the save, it was Yimi Garcia who faced the middle of the order in the 8th inning.  Garcia appears to the most important pitcher coming out of the Dodgers’ bullpen, and that should mean some save chances, but could also mean he is needed before the 9th on occasion.

Updated hierarchy: *Garcia | Hatcher | Baez.

April 26, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Joel Peralta is experiencing “dead arm” and could be headed to the DL.  Peralta was the head of the Dodgers’ closer committee; it looks like Yimi Garcia could take his place while the Dodgers wait for Kenley Jansen to get back.  Chris Hatcher pitched the 9th protecting a four run lead on Saturday, and both he and Pedro Baez could still get looks as well.

Updated hierarchy: *Garcia | Baez | Hatcher.

April 25, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — With 16 strikeouts in nine appearances, rookie Yimi Garcia has been the best pitcher in the Dodgers’ bullpen this season. On Friday night, he finally got a shot at closing — and he mowed down the Padres with two strikeouts and a foul pop. Don Mattingly isn’t ready to abandon the committee system, but Garcia will surely be a huge part of it going forward, and a strong candidate for the setup role after Kenley Jansen returns.

Updated hierarchy: *Peralta | Garcia | Baez.

April 24, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — LA continues to have the most volatile closing situation in the league. On Thursday, after Chris Hatcher and Joel Peralta had already pitched, Pedro Baez got the chance at his first career save, but promptly coughed up the one-run lead, allowing a leadoff single and a game-tying triple. Although Baez managed to strand that runner on third, the Dodgers went on to lose 3-2 against the Giants. The Baez move, which puzzled the great Vin Scully, shows how wide-open things are now in the Dodgers’ ninth. The uncertainty should end soon, with Kenley Jansen scheduled to begin a rehab assignment next week.

Hierarchy remains: *Peralta | Hatcher | Baez.

April 23, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen is continuing his road back to bullpen this week with some bullpen sessions and a minor-league assignment could be on tap late next week. If everything goes as planned, Jansen is on target for a mid-May return.

Hierarchy remains: *Peralta | Hatcher | Baez.

April 19, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – Joel Peralta recorded his third save of the season last night.  Chris Hatcher got the last out of the 7th and J.P. Howell pitched the 8th.  Peralta has not given up a hit in his last four appearances and looks to be asserting himself as the primary closer until Kenley Jansen returns.

Hierarchy remains: *Peralta | Hatcher | Baez.

April 16, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – The most unpredictable bullpen in the majors remained that way last night as the Dodgers held onto a three-run win. Chris Hatcher got the last two outs in the seventh, while Pedro Baez took the whole eighth and the first out of the ninth. Just when you thought you could count him out, JP Howell was summoned for the last two outs of the game. However, this wasn’t quite a save situation and Howell did face Seattle’s bottom two batters. In addition, Joel Peralta was dealing with a stiff neck. This doesn’t seem to be serious, as he had hoped to be available yesterday. All of this may not matter soon, as Kenley Jansen is scheduled to begin throwing off a mound, on Saturday. His return will be a welcome sight for anyone who is a fan of bullpen stability.

Hierarchy remains: *Peralta | Hatcher | Baez.

April 15, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – Both JP Howell and Chris Hatcher were used while the Dodgers trailed last night, and both pitched well, particularly Hatcher. We do think this means Howell is unlikely to get a save chance, with Pedro Baez (4.0 IP, 6K, 0.00 ERA) a more likely candidate. Yimi Garcia, who leads the Dodgers in wins after last night, has also pitched well, striking out 10 of the 22 batters he has faced.

Updated hierarchy: *Peralta | Hatcher | Baez.

April 12, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – Chris Hatcher had another brutal outing on Sunday, allowing 3 runs to score while only recording one out. Joel Peralta came in afterwards to lock down the 1-out save, and is now firmly in the lead in the Los Angeles committee; in fact, the way things have gone thus far, it would surprise us to see anyone other than Peralta used in the 9th going forward. We’ll hold off on lifting the asterisk for one more save, but frankly, Hatcher might not even stay in the bigs for very much longer if he keeps pitching the way he has (33.75 ERA) over the season’s first week.

Updated hierarchy: *Peralta | Hatcher | Howell.

April 10, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — The Dodgers acquired righty reliever Ryan Webb from the Orioles Thursday. Webb was recently designated for assignment, but has a career 3.38 ERA and gives LA some much-needed bullpen depth. Webb has never recorded a save, but could conceivably enter a game in the late innings if Chris Hatcher or Joel Peralta falter. His situation is worth watching.

Hierarchy remains: *Hatcher | Peralta | Howell.

April 9, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – As was predicted in the Vulture Save Watch, it was Joel Peralta who got the call to close out a two-run game. Peralta was the only reliever that did not pitch yesterday, so it could be that it was simply his turn in the committee, but it is hard to ignore the disaster outing Hatcher had Tuesday. This is still a committee, but Peralta is worth a pickup if he is available after the past couple days.

Hierarchy remains: *Hatcher | Peralta | Howell.

April 7, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – Chris Hatcher picked up his first career save on Opening Day in the Dodgers’ win over the Padres. Joel Peralta was sent in to face the heart of the San Diego order in the 8th, showing Don Mattingly’s willingness to use his best guys in tough spots. For now we will move Hatcher to the front of the class, but don’t be surprised if Mattingly gets comfortable mixing and matching. Either way, this bears close watching, as Kenley Jansen was still in a walking boot yesterday.

Updated hierarchy: *Hatcher | Peralta | Howell.

April 3, 2015
Los Angeles DodgersSpeculation continues to swirl around who might be handed the keys to the 9th inning in Los Angeles. A committee still seems like the most likely outcome, at least in the early going, and we continue to believe that Joel Peralta is the best reliever to own. Sergio Santos, meanwhile, gave up a HR to Mike Trout last night in his final bid to make the club. He still could earn a spot, but probably won’t be a top option in the late innings.

Updated hierarchy: *Peralta | Hatcher | Howell.

March 31, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – We’re continuing to look for some clarity in the Los Angeles bullpen, but it seems more and more likely that Don Mattingly will head into the regular season with a closer-by-committee. The two leading candidates for the job, Joel Peralta (5.68 ERA in 6.1 spring IPs) and Chris Hatcher (7.36 ERA in 7.1 IPs) have done little to distinguish themselves; meanwhile, once-darkhorse Sergio Santos had a rough outing the other day and saw his own spring ERA jump to 4.70. Santos is still an interesting candidate, as he’s got the past experience and is consistently missing bats (10 Ks in 7.2 IPs). But given his contract status, he’s not even a lock to make the team. Those in deep leagues or leagues with holds may want to look at the only reliever who has been dominant for the Dodgers this spring: lefty Paco Rodriguez (9.1 IPs, 0.00 ERA, 0.32 WHIP, 12 Ks, 0 BBs). Given J.P. Howell’s pedestrian spring (6.2 IPs, 8.10 ERA), Rodriguez could jump him as the go-to lefty in the Dodgers pen, and potentially snag an occasional save when matchups are right.

Hierarchy remains: Peralta* | Hatcher | Santos.

March 26, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Chris Hatcher and his Wilsonesque beard have endured some rough outings lately, pushing his spring ERA over 10. Although Hatcher is a virtual lock to make the team because he’s out of minor league options, Joel Peralta may have edged in front of him in the race to lead what appears to be a confirmed committee situation that could also include Sergio Santos, Juan Nicasio, and lefties J.P. Howell and Paco Rodriguez. As expected, Brandon League will join Kenley Jansen on the DL to start the season, and some in LA are looking Rafael Soriano’s way.

Updated hierarchy: Peralta* | Hatcher | Santos.

March 18, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – A new name has emerged in the most unsettled bullpen in the big leagues. Chris Hatcher, a former catcher (just like Kenley Jansen!) has been turning heads in camp, and some members of the media have anointed him the frontrunner for the closer job. Don Mattingly has remained quiet about bullpen roles, and we still think Joel Peralta is a very strong possibility (and his most recent outing was a good one), but beat writers tend to know best, so we’ll move him to the top of the committee for now. Another candidate to watch is former Blue Jays closer Sergio Santos. Santos wasn’t even considered a lock to make the team as recently as a few weeks ago, but a strong spring has put him in the conversation. Meanwhile, Brandon League is taking some time off due to shoulder soreness.

Updated hierarchy: Hatcher* | Peralta | Santos.

March 8, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – Andrew Friedman took his big-thinking mindset away from the small-market Tampa area and to sunny southern California, and when he arrived, he took a wrecking ball to a Dodgers team that won two straight division titles. Most important to the Closer Monkey is the injury to the electric Kenley Jansen, who will miss the first month of the season, with no clear replacement behind him. Brian Wilson is gone, leaving two recent acquisitions — Joel Peralta and Dustin McGowan — to duke it out with Brandon League for save chances. We think it’ll either be Peralta or League to start the season, with McGowan getting a look if they both struggle in the spring.

Starting 2015 hierarchy: | Peralta | League | McGowan.
Holds candidates: League, JP Howell.

September 4, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers — The six men who make up the hierarchies of the Dodgers and Nationals combined on Wednesday for three blown saves, eight runs (seven earned), and a whopping 2.47 WHIP. They also make an average of just over $7 million a year, which works out to about $7,000 per pitch. Feel free this morning to revel, just a little, in their failure.

Hierarchy remains: Jansen | Wilson | League.

August 15, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers – Brian Wilson had an ugly outing last night, allowing three earned runs in 0.2 innings and forcing Kenley Jansen into an extended appearance. Prior to last night, Wilson had been sort of decent lately, and his strikeout totals are still excellent (50 in 39.1 IPs). But he’s still walking way too many guys, leading to an ERA and WHIP of 5.26 and 1.70 — unseemly numbers for the would-be set-up man on the NL’s best team. With Brandon League pitching very effectively lately, Wilson might not be Jansen’s handcuff at this point. We’ll watch how this unfolds in the coming days.

Hierarchy remains: Jansen | Wilson | League.

July 16, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers – The profligate Dodgers are in the market for relievers; although they’ve been linked to Koji Uehara, they’d be fools to overlook how unlucky Kenley Jansen has been (3.49 ERA, 1.87 FIP). TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

June 26, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers — As predicted in Wednesday’s Vulture Save Watch, Kenley Jansen got the night off and Brian Wilson picked up his first save in 26 months, oblivious to the endless litany of catty tweets he inspired.

Hierarchy remains: Jansen | Wilson | League.

June 18, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers — With solid performances over the past three weeks, Brian Wilson has earned his job back, supplanting Brandon League as next in line behind Kenley Jansen.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Wilson | League.

June 15, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers — Brian Wilson pitched a perfect 8th inning ahead of closer Kenley Jansen last night.  Wilson has only given up one run in his last 12 appearances and looks like he is working his way back into the Dodgers late-inning bullpen plans.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | League | Wilson.

June 1, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers — Jamey Wright collected a three inning save last night in a Dodgers blow out win.  The 39-year-old reliever lowered his ERA under 3.00, but even with most of the Dodgers bullpen struggling we don’t see him being used in high leverage spots right now.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | League | Howell.

May 27, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers — After Hyun-Jin Ryu lost his perfect game and shutout in the eighth inning, Brian Wilson entered and loaded the bases while yielding two inherited runs. Kenley Jansen bailed everyone out with a four-out save, but the rest of the Dodgers’ bullpen has become a series of question marks. Wilson has allowed an astonishing 36 baserunners in 16.2 innings, and Chris Perez’s ERA over the last three weeks is 17.35. On the whole, LA relievers are 4-12 with a 1.42 WHIP. Brandon League and J.P. Howell have been pitching the best, if only by default, but Howell is limited by his status as the only non-Paul Maholm lefty in the pen. We think Wilson’s last outing has dropped him below these two, but in this bullpen right now, nothing is certain.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | League | Howell.

May 24, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers — The Dodgers called on Brandon League in the 7th inning last night with a 2 run lead.  League loaded the bases while recording no outs.  J.P. Howell came on and finished off the 7th inning by stranding all three runners.  Howell has 10 holds on the season, an ERA just over 2, and proved last night that he can be trusted to pitch in tough spots in the later innings.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Wilson | Howell.

May 22, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers — Chris Perez hasn’t pitched since May 17, and when he has been used, he’s been strikingly ineffective in some low-leverage spots. We can’t yet tell you whether injury, fatigue, or ineffectiveness is to blame for him being passed over in situations like Wednesday’s tight seventh and eighth, but we’re concerned enough to move him out of the top three until he proves he’s okay.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Wilson | League.

May 12, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen allowed 5 baserunners to reach in the 10th inning on Sunday, and after 3 of them scored, saddling him with the loss, his ERA climbed to 4.58. Once considered a top closer in the game, Jansen has had a rough go of it so far this year, and with Chris Perez doing fine work in the 8th inning, the hard-throwing righty has reasons to be concerned about his job. Kenley Jansen to Hot Seat.

May 4, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers gave Kenley Jansen the night off last night and went with Chris Perez in the 9th inning.  Perez blew the save by walking in the game tying run.  Jansen is tied for the league lead in appearances this season, and he hasn’t been his usual dominant self, giving up 25 base runners in 15.1 innings.  The Dodgers will probably try to monitor Jansen’s usage moving forward so Chris Perez could continue to see save opportunities when Jansen is rested.  No hierarchy change.

May 2, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers – Chris Perez came on in a save spot in the 8th inning, and then stayed on for the 9th after the Dodgers stretched their lead for his first save of the year.  He’s entrenched as the Los Angeles set-up man and stands to inherit the job should anything happen to Kenley Jansen.  No hierarchy change.

April 27, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers – Brian Wilson struggled for the second straight outing last night.  After giving up 4 runs on Thursday, Wilson was pulled last night after walking the first two batters he faced.  Chris Perez has pitched very well so far this season, as he has given up only 5 hits in 11.2 innings.   Hierarchy change: Chris Perez to Set-up, Brian Wilson to 2nd in line.

April 18, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers – Brian Wilson was activated from the disabled list earlier this week, and on Thursday, he picked up where he left off, earning an 8th inning hold in a 2-run ballgame.  Hierarchy change: Brian Wilson to Set-up, Chris Perez to 2nd in line.

April 7, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers – J.P. Howell picked up his first hold of the year on Sunday.  Should something happen to Kenley Jansen, we don’t think Howell would be tapped for the 9th inning ahead of Chris Perez, but the lefty has been a key cog in the Los Angeles bullpen thus far.  Three of his four appearances have come in the 8th inning ahead of Jansen.  Hierarchy change: J.P. Howell to 2nd in line, replacing Brandon League.

April 2, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers — How about this? We let you know that Brian Wilson is headed to the disabled list with nerve irritation, and you just go ahead and make up your own punchline. Hierarchy change: Chris Perez to Set-up, Brandon League to 2nd in line, Brian Wilson to DL.

March 31, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers – Brian Wilson pitched a scoreless inning in Australia, but his first 2014 appearance in the states wasn’t a memorable one, as he gave up three runs and took the loss against the Padres.  Wilson’s 8th inning gig isn’t in danger yet, but there are lots of former closers hanging out in the Los Angeles bullpen, so Don Mattingly has other options if Wilson’s hiccup turns into something worse.  No hierarchy change.

March 13, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers — For the first 4 1/2 years of his career, Kenley Jansen was a catcher who struck out in 27% of his at-bats. Over his last 4 1/2 years as a pitcher, he’s made hitters look even sillier, striking out 40% of batters faced. Ranked #3 in our preseason closer rankings.

March 7, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers have unlimited money, which allows them to do silly things like pay Brian Wilson $10 million.  Though The Beard won’t close — Kenley Jansen finally has a firm grasp on that job — his contract means he’s almost assuredly the set-up man.  Behind Jansen and Wilson is another former closer looking to return to form, as Chris Perez is in town on a 1-year deal.  Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer – Kenley Jansen, Set-up – Brian Wilson, 2nd in line – Chris Perez. 

September 13, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers – Six days ago, Brian Wilson allowed a walk, a stolen base, and a single in the 10th inning of a tied game against the Reds, counting for the only run he’s allowed since returning to the big leagues.  Last night, Wilson was on the better end of it, pitching a scoreless 10th after a Kenley Jansen blown save and earning the win when the Dodgers walked off.  Wilson now sports a 1.17 ERA, and though he hasn’t been getting used in any big set-up spots yet, we anticipate that this might be a scenario where a non-8th-inning guy jumps the set-up men to close.  Paco Rodriguez and Ronald Belisario continue to competently share that set-up role, but if Jansen goes down, Wilson’s experience makes him the best bet for saves.  Hierarchy change: Brian Wilson to Set-up, Paco Rodriguez to 2nd in line.

September 4, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers — With Kenley Jansen indeed unavailable on Tuesday, Don Mattingly used Paco Rodriguez up two in the eighth, presumably holding Ronald Belisario or Brian Wilson back for a save situation. When Rodriguez gave up a homer and a walk, Belisario entered and escaped further trouble — then stayed on for the ninth after LA’s lead grew to four. But Belisario gave up a run and put another guy on, so it was young Chris Withrow who got the call for his first major league save. No hierarchy change.

September 1, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers — Brian Wilson pitched a scoreless 8th inning in a tie game last night.  He ended up getting the win and now has made five scoreless appearances since joining the Dodgers. Hierarchy change: Brian Wilson to 2nd in line, replacing Ronald Belisario.

August 20, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers — Brian Wilson joined the crowded Dodgers bullpen on Monday, where he will wear #00 and battle Carlos Marmol and Brandon League to be king of the disgraced former closers. He may yet do so without his famed beard, if an upstart razor company has its way. No hierarchy change.

August 6, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers — Kenley Jansen got the night off, so Paco Rodriguez nailed down a strong two-inning vulture save in a tight game. No hierarchy change.

July 31, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers — Bearded weirdo Brian Wilson was signed to a minor-league contract, reportedly worth a cool $1 million, plus performance bonuses. After a few weeks in the minors, he’ll get a shot at the big club, where he’s expected to take on a set-up role, hopelessly confuse many older Beach Boys fans, and ultimately become the first active major league player to marry Lady Gaga during a regulation game (in a non-strike season). No hierarchy change.

July 18, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers – LA might move Brandon League (if anyone would bite) or bring in another setup guy, but none of the changes should affect anyone’s ninth inning. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

June 26, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers — As predicted, the Dodgers gave Kenley Jansen the night off and went to Brandon League with a three-run lead in the ninth — but League gave up three straight hits to quickly make it a one-run game. Paco Rodriguez took over and allowed another single before retiring the next three hitters to earn his first career save. This outing will almost certainly end League’s reign of terror in late/close situations; Don Mattingly says he will use League in easier spots until and unless he improves. Hierarchy change: Paco Rodriguez to Set-Up, Ronald Belisario to 2nd in line.

June 16, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers — Brandon League picked up the save in the 11th inning last night after Kenley Jansen blew the save in the 9th.  Even with the blown save, Mattingly is not thinking about making another change back to League.  No hierarchy change.

June 12, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers — On a tense night that saw five hit batsmen, two bench-clearing brawls, and Mark McGwire’s first ejection in almost 12 years, the Dodgers rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Newly anointed closer Kenley Jansen came out for the save and struck out two in a perfect ninth. Meanwhile, Don Mattingly got to take out some of his frustration on Alan TrammellNo hierarchy change.

June 11, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers — In his pregame comments on Tuesday, Don Mattingly announced that Kenley Jansen will replace Brandon League as the Dodgers’ closer. Mattingly was not yet sure how the rest of the Dodger bullpen would fall in line, so we’ll keep the status quo intact until he gives some further indication. Hierarchy change: Kenley Jansen to Closer, Brandon League to Set-Up.

June 11, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers — After an effective eighth from Kenley Jansen, Brandon League was a comprehensive disaster, allowing four runs to earn the Dodgers their league-leading 13th blown save of the year. League has a 6.00 ERA and four blown saves; Jansen has 44 strikeouts in 32 innings and a WHIP of 1.00. Don Mattingly suggested that he was playing matchups by using League to close, but the best type of matchup for the Dodgers right now is the one that leaves him in the bullpen. Brandon League to Hot Seat.

June 5, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers — Paco Rodriguez pitched a high-leverage seventh on Monday night; meanwhile, Ronald Belisario has been spanked in each of his last two outings, including a stint in the sixth last night. Hierarchy change: Paco Rodriguez to 2nd in line, replacing Ronald Belisario.

June 1, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers –  Don Mattingly went to Kenley Jansen with runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out in the 8th.  That left Brandon League for the 9th and he blew his second save in his last four chances.  Ronald Belisario ended up picking up the save in extra innings.  Ronald Belisario to 2nd in line, replacing Paco Rodriguez.

May 26, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers – For the first time in 11 days, someone on the Dodgers got a save, and that someone was Brandon League.  Kenley Jansen, who Don Mattingly has continued to use in the highest-pressure situations, pitched in the 7th and 8th innings against the heart of the St. Louis lineup, striking out 4 in 1.1 innings of work.  With high-pressure situations occurring earlier rather than later for the Dodgers, League is probably the better bet for saves for the time being.  Hierarchy change: Brandon League to Closer, Kenley Jansen to Set-up.

May 19, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers – With 1 out in the 8th and the Dodgers up 1, Don Mattingly went to Kenley Jansen.  Jansen immediately gave up a 2 run homer to Evan Gattis and ended up taking the loss.  Mattingly will continue to use his best reliever Jansen in high pressure situations.  For Kenley owners, hopefully these high-pressure situations will occur in the 9th inning more often than otherwise.  However, it appears Brandon League will still see save opportunities on nights when Jansen is used prior to the 9th.    Kenley Jansen to Hot Seat.

May 16, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers – Don Mattingly said yesterday afternoon that he wasn’t ready to anoint Kenley Jansen as the new closer yet, and a few hours later, it was Jansen who emerged from the bullpen for a four-out hold in the 7th and 8th innings.  Brandon League got the save in the 9th.  There’s no hints yet as to whether this is a platoon — in which Jansen will have a serious edge — or whether League still has a good chance to hold the job.  League’s next outing will likely be key, as another good inning might give him a chance to fully reclaim the role for the time being.  No hierarchy change.

May 15, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers – After 132 pitches got Clayton Kershaw only 26 outs, Don Mattingly turned to Kenley Jansen, not Brandon League, to finish off the 2-0 win. Although Mattingly recently declared League his closer “for now,” that tepid reassurance apparently came with an expiration date. The Dodger relievers might swap roles over the next few weeks, but Jansen — clearly the best pitcher in the pen — is likely to take full advantage of this opportunityHierarchy change: Kenley Jansen to Closer, Brandon League to Set-up, Paco Rodriguez to 2nd in line.

May 13, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers – Brandon League entered Sunday’s game with the Dodgers up by four, and promptly allowed two runs to score before nailing down the final out.  His ERA climbed to 6.28 after the crummy outing, and he remains firmly on the Hot Seat.  One more bad outing, and Kenley Jansen could finally inherit the job.  No hierarchy change.

May 8, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers – Brandon League had the night off after a 30-pitch outing on Wednesday, so Kenley Jansen got the save last night.  League’s job is not in jeopardy at the moment.  No hierarchy change.

February 24, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers – Starting 2013 hierarchy: Closer- Brandon League, Set-up- Kenley Jansen, 2nd in line- Ronald Belisario.

September 22, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenlsey Jansen pitched the 7th inning in a tie game last night. Manager Don Matthingly said that he would like to ease Jansen back into the closer role. Brandon League picked up the save in extras and could see a couple more save opps before Jansen is back to closing. Hierarchy change: Kenley Jansen to Set-up, Ronald Belisario to 2nd in line.

September 13, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Ronald Belisario pitched the 8th inning with the Dodgers down a run last night. Although Don Mattingly has yet to commit to Brandon League as the interim closer, League’s experience seems to have given him the edge in the platoon. Hierarchy change: Brandon League to Closer, Ronald Belisario to Set-up.

September 9, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Brandon League on Saturday picked up his second save since joining the Dodgers, pitching a clean 9th inning. League, who altered his delivery after joining Los Angeles, has been pitching spectacularly lately, and is sharing opportunities with Ronald Belisario until Kenley Jansen returns in about two weeks. No hierarchy change.

September 1, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – As predicted in yesterday’s vulture save watch, Brandon League picked up the save while Belisario was recovering from a 26 pitch outing the night before. No hierarchy change.

September 1, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Matt Guerrier returned from the 60-day DL on Friday, allowing one run and taking the loss after he entered a tie game in the 11th inning. Guerrier had not pitched since April 18. He will move back into the 7th-inning role that he held before his injury. Hierarchy change: Matt Guerrier to 2nd in line, replacing Jamey Wright.

August 30, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Ronald Belisario picked up the save on Wednesday, throwing 1.2 innings with the Dodgers up by two runs. After the game, the Dodgers revealed that Kenley Jansen is battling a heart condition that kept him out for a month last year. Seemingly out of nowhere, his season is in jeopardy. Belisario should close, but behind him, there are few sure things. Deadline acquisition Brandon League is the best bet to move in to the set-up role. Hierarchy change: Ronald Belisario to Closer, Brandon League to Set-up, Jamey Wright to 2nd in line.

July 21, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Javy Guerra finished off the 7th inning, and has worked his way back in to a late-innings role for the Dodgers. Josh Lindblom has struggled as of late, including on Friday, when he allowed three baserunners while only recording one out in the 6th inning. Hierarchy change: Javy Guerra to 2nd in line, replacing Josh Lindblom.

July 12, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers’ bullpen is solid, with Kenley Jansen still racking up strikeouts at an absurd rate. They’re unlikely to be factors in the bullpen market at the deadline. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

June 5, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Ronald Belisario pitched the 8th inning in a tie game on Monday, eventually earning the win after the Dodgers broke through against Jonathon Papelbon. Belisario (1.26 ERA) continues his quick ascent in the Dodgers’ pen, as he is now the primary set-up man for Kenley Jansen. Hierarchy change: Ronald Belisario to Set-up, Josh Lindblom to 2nd in line.

June 4, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Ronald Belisario pitched another scoreless inning on Sunday, a day after pitching the 8th inning ahead of Kenley Jansen. Belisario, with a 1.35 ERA, has surpassed Javy Guerra on the Dodgers depth chart. Hierarchy change: Ronald Belisario to 2nd in line, replacing Javy Guerra.

May 10, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Javy Guerra’s demotion seems to have dropped him several spots down the Dodgers bullpen hierarchy; Josh Lindblom pitched the 8th inning in a close game last night. Hierarchy change: Josh Lindblom to Set-up, Javy Guerra to 2nd in line.

May 8, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Don Mattingly before Monday’s series opener said that he was removing Javy Guerra from the closer role. Kenley Jansen will close in his place, Mattingly said. Hierarchy change: Kenley Jansen to Closer, Javy Guerra to Set-up.

May 7, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Javy Guerra blew another save on Sunday, and for the first time, manager Don Mattingly expressed wavering confidence in the righty, saying that he’d have to keep looking at the closer role. Guerra will likely get one more shot to close before being benched, though he remains firmly on the Hot Seat and is a good bet to lose his job with one more blown save. No hierarchy change.

April 30, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers — As predicted in Sunday’s Vulture Save Watch, Kenley Jansen collected the save for the Dodgers, striking out the side with two walks. Don Mattingly stressed after the game that he intends to keep Javy Guerra in the closer role, however. No hierarchy change.

April 29, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers
– Josh Lindblom pitched the 8th last night and has been used recently in close game situations in the later innings. Scott Elbert started the 9th because there were two lefties up and it looks like he will be used more as a situational lefty. Ultimately Javy Guerra came on and gave up the go ahead runs. Mattingly may have been trying help his closer out by having Elbert start against the lefties which is a sign that he might be losing faith in Guerra. No closer change yet but it will be interesting to see who gets called on for the next save opportunity. Hierarchy change: Josh Lindblom to 2nd in line, replacing Scott Elbert.

April 28, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen got the save last night. Manager Don Mattingly said after the game on Wednesday that Guerra was still his guy so he might have just been giving him a day off after taking a line drive off his jaw his last time out. Guerra is already on the hot seat but hasn’t lost his job yet. No hierarchy change.

April 26, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Javy Guerra blew the save last night and took the loss for the second consecutive game. Guerra has gone 0-2 and only 2/4 in save opportunities in his last 5 games. Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless 8th and could take Guerra’s job if he continues to pitch poorly.Javy Guerra to Hot Seat.

April 25, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers – Matt Guerrier was placed on the DL Tuesday with elbow tendinitis. Scott Elbert pitched the 7th in a tie game and will likely move back into that role. Hierarchy change: Scott Elbert to 2nd in line, replacing Matt Guerrier.

April 14, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers
– Kenley Jansen came in for the save with the Dodgers up 2 in the 9th but was unable to convert the save opportunity. Javy Guerra is still clearly the closer and was just getting a day off after pitching three consecutive days. No hierarchy change.

April 6, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers- Matt Guerrier pitched the 7th inning in a two-run game last night. With Guerrier and the also-talented Mike MacDougal eating up the middle innings for the Dodgers, Scott Elbert might be reduced to a LOOGY role. Hierarchy change: Matt Guerrier to 2nd in line, replacing Scott Elbert.

April 1, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers- Javy Guerra will start as the closer based on last year, but he’ll be looking over his shoulder at fireballer Kenley Jansen, who is a strong candidate to close soon. Scott Elbert picked up the odd save chances for the Dodgers last year, and with no major additions, he could assume the role if Guerra and Jansen go down. Starting 2012 hierarchy: Closer- Javy Guerra, Set-up- Kenley Jansen, 2nd in line- Scott Elbert.

Sept. 15, 2011
Los Angeles Dodgers- With Javy Guerra getting the night off, it was Kenley Jansen, not Mike MacDougal, who picked up the save in last night’s Dodgers victory. Guerra should resume closing tonight, though he’s been knocked around as of late. Hierarchy change: Kenley Jansen to Set-up, Mike MacDougal to 2nd in line. Javy Guerra to Hot Seat.

Sept. 9, 2011
Los Angeles Dodgers- Kenley Jansen pitched the 7th inning last night, while Mike MacDougal pitched the 8th. It was Jansen, not MacDougal, who picked up a scavenger save when Guerra had a recent night off, but over the past two weeks, MacDougal has pitched later in games than Jansen. Hierarchy change: MacDougal to Set-up, Jansen to 2nd in line.

Sept. 2, 2011
Los Angeles Dodgers- Since returning from the DL, Kenley Jansen has been thrust back in to his late-inning role. With Javy Guerra on the bench after pitching two straight days, Jansen was called upon for the save last night. Hierarchy change: Jansen to Set-up, MacDougal to 2nd in line.

Aug. 23, 2011
Los Angeles Dodgers- Scott Elbert was used rather early in last night’s game while the Dodgers were losing. Their 8th inning role has been muddled, but Elbert’s early outing coupled with Mike MacDougal and his stellar 2.18 ERA suggest that MacDougal is the go-to guy now, should Guerra go down. Hierarchy change: MacDougal to Set-Up, Elbert to 2nd in line.

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