“I don’t feel Brandon’s done anything really wrong,” Mattingly said. “I know he’s given up — gives up the home run to (Guillermo) Quiroz (Saturday), the home run (to Paul Goldschmidt) last night. Even the blown save, we feel like if we make plays for him he gets that one (April 24 in New York). Then he’d have zero (blown saves). So I don’t really feel like Brandon’s come in and walked the park, gotten hit all over the place. Obviously he’s getting hit a little bit, though.”
Asked point-blank who his closer would be tonight, Mattingly said, “We’ll see. We’ll find out. For me right now, I’ll go with Brandon.”
That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement.
The only other pitcher Mattingly mentioned for the role is Kenley Jansen.
Jansen has pitched well this season (2.12 ERA, 21 strikeouts in 17 innings), not unlike he did a year ago when Javy Guerra was struggling as the closer and Mattingly handed the ninth inning to Jansen. The circumstances are so similar, it’s no wonder Mattingly is contemplating making a change.
“I can’t say I haven’t given thought to it,” Mattingly said. “The games that Brandon’s given up runs are games that he wasn’t necessarily closing. Kenley’s been throwing the ball good. Yeah, I’ve given thought to it. … I’m just still thinking about it. We still talk about it, go back and forth. It’s like anything else — all of a sudden we flip it, then we got a mess. Not that we’re not in a mess already a little bit.”