With Pedro Baez and Blake Treinen reaching free agency, the Los Angeles Dodgers have identified the bullpen as an area of focus this offseason.
The club has addressed the unit in recent days with a slew of Minor League signings, reuniting with the likes of Brandon Morrow, Jimmy Nelson and Brock Stewart. L.A. had previously completed a trade for Corey Knebel, sending prospect Leo Crawford to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Knebel is the type of low-risk, high-upside player the Dodgers look to acquire when the opportunity presents itself. He has been limited by injuries the past two seasons, but the club liked what they saw of him down the stretch in 2020.
During a recent appearance on SportsNet LA, Knebel discussed how difficult it was to face the Dodgers lineup and relief he now feels:
“I have always hated facing them, so now I’m just really glad to be on their side and have them behind my back. It’s going to be really exciting to not have to face them anymore. That was always a grind, always a battle, any time I had to face the Dodgers lineup.”
As Knebel noted, the Dodgers have one of the deepest lineups in all of baseball, which was further lengthened this past February with the acquisition of Mookie Betts.
While the abbreviated regular season prevented the Dodgers from setting records that would have been obtainable with a full 162-game schedule, they still broke the Atlanta Braves’ National League record for most home runs hit in a single month.
For as deep as the Dodgers lineup is, Knebel actually held his own against them during his time with the Brewers, posting a 2.25 ERA with 13 strikeouts and four saves in eight appearances.
Knebel not concerned by lack of set roles in Dodgers bullpen
Knebel has experience closing games and being used in high-leverage situations, but it remains to be seen what his role with the Dodgers will be next season. Despite this, he isn’t concerned with how the club may look to use him in 2021.
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