LOS ANGELES — Craig Kimbrel, an eight-time All-Star with a career 394 saves, was removed from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ first postseason list, a somewhat expected result given his season-long struggles in the ninth inning.
The Dodgers are expected to come together with a select committee this month, beginning with a National League Division Series matchup against NL West rivals San Diego Padres.
Blake Treinen, who struggled with the same shoulder problem that limited him to five appearances all season, was deemed healthy enough to play in that series, a big boost for a Dodgers team that likes him as a key bridge too would use the ninth inning. Treinen’s presence seemingly opens the door for a number of Dodgers helpers – including Evan Phillips, Tommy Kahnle, Alex Vesia and Brusdar Graterol – to tackle the ninth.
Chris Taylor, who was struggling with neck stiffness, attended live batting practice at Dodger Stadium during Monday practice and will likely do most of the left field work this series. The Dodgers opted to add all six of their starters to the NLDS roster — including Dustin May, who will likely contribute several innings from the bullpen — and went with the 13-max pitchers. Miguel Vargas replaced Hanser Alberto to bring more offense off the bench and left-handers David Price and Caleb Ferguson were left out of the squad.
Kimbrel had an ebb and flow freshman season with the Dodgers, with a 3.75 ERA and a career-low 27.7%. His first one-run save didn’t come until mid-August. A little over a month later, after a short streak of success, he was removed as the team closed in.
Game 1 against the Padres begins Tuesday at 9:37 p.m. ET, with Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias taking on Padres right-hander Mike Clevinger. All five Padres starters made the NLDS roster, including Sean Manaea, who had an 11.72 ERA in 17 2/3 innings against the Dodgers this season.