Dodgers committed to Jansen as closer

August 31st, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- With the D-backs in town for a four-game showdown, the Dodgers' focus on Thursday was squarely on the bullpen, as was back as closer, Josh Fields was back from the disabled list and Nationals reliever was atop the shopping list.

The Dodgers put in a claim for Madson and on Friday the club completed a deal for the veteran right-hander. Friday is the deadline for players to join an organization and still be eligible for the postseason.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he remains committed to Jansen, who returned from an irregular heartbeat with four flat outings. He's now come off the medication he said made him feel sluggish.

"To say that it isn't happening would be irresponsible, but to address it and to get better, which Kenley is working through, there's no wavering in trust," said Roberts. "We're betting on Kenley to figure things out. He's earned that. I also think the stuff is still plus. It's the command, and that speaks to the delivery, which we're addressing."

With Jansen held back on Wednesday after a fruitful pregame mechanics adjustment with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, converted his first save of the year, but just barely. Roberts said the plan is to continue Maeda's conversion so he can pitch in back-to-back games, but he's not there yet.

Fields could be useful if he's healthy after missing two months with right shoulder inflammation. To make room for him, was optioned to Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and infielder Rob Segedin was designated for assignment.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

Regardless of Maeda or Fields, the club believes Madson could be just the type of professional reliever to handle to problematic setup role that has been a scramble since left and joined the Cubs in free agency.

The 38-year-old Madson has an extensive medical history, having undergone two Tommy John operations, plus spending two stints on the DL this year for chest and back problems, returning from the latter just last week.

But Madson won World Series rings in Philadelphia and Kansas City. He has two seasons with at least 30 saves and is 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 46 postseason games. He has roughly $1.3 million remaining on his contract and will be a free agent after this season.

After three effective seasons as a setup workhorse, Madson has struggled this season to a 5.28 ERA, but he came back last week throwing hard.

The Dodgers had interest in signing him as a free agent three years ago, but backed away when spirited bidding resulted in a three-year, $22 million deal with Oakland. The A's traded Madson and to Washington in July last season.

Dodgers prospects heading to AFL

Catcher Keibert Ruiz, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect and No. 37 in MLB, heads a list of eight Los Angeles prospects on the roster of the Glendale Desert Dogs for the upcoming Arizona Fall League.

Ruiz, a switch-hitter from Venezuela, is only 20 but has played the entire season at Double-A Tulsa. Joining Ruiz from the Dodgers will be pitchers Jordan Sheffield, Ben Holmes, Nolan Long and Andre Scrubb, infielders Errol Robinson and Jared Walker and outfielder Cody Thomas.

MLB Pipeline ranks Robinson No. 20 and Sheffield No. 26 in the organization.