Dodgers Reveal Thoughts On Naming A Set "Closer"

One of the big questions surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers this season is who will be the closer? Apparently, however, this is something that president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has no interest in answering. 

“I don’t think it’s a necessity,” Friedman said. “I think the most important question to answer is whether you think our ’pen is going to be really good, and we do. And then it’s about the mindset of each one of those guys, keeping them in the best headspace to go out and have a lot of success."

While Evan Phillips seems like the best candidate for the job, manager Dave Roberts will be just as likely to use him for the highest-leverage situation in any given game, no matter when it comes up—9th inning, 8th inning or otherwise. 

“I’m ready to pitch in whatever situations they give me,” Phillips told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “We haven’t discussed a certain inning or a certain type of situation all that much. I fully expect to pitch when it matters most. That’s something I feel I’ve earned the opportunity to do. Wherever those outs come – late in the game, fifth inning, sixth inning – I’ve shown I can do it all last year and I’d be happy to do it again this year."

And the Dodgers will certainly take what Phillips showed last year: A 1.14 ERA and 0.76 WHIP and 11 strikeouts per nine innings. 

“He could absolutely be a closer,” Roberts said of Phillips. “I don’t think the question is ‘Can he do it?’ I think the question is what’s best for us and our ’pen and how we finish games?”

Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports