One of the most important lessons I learned working in MLB front offices for more than a quarter century, including 16 years as a general manager, is that a team’s weaknesses will be exposed in the playoffs. Every team has weaknesses, even the heavyweights in this postseason’s growing field such as the Dodgers, Astros and Yankees. Who will overcome theirs? Who won’t?
Here is the biggest problem each postseason team — and those on the verge of making the 12-team tournament — needs to worry about.
Dodgers — Who will be the closer?
(106-48; +321 run differential)
Manager Dave Roberts announced last week that Craig Kimbrel would no longer be the team’s closer. At the time, Roberts indicated he’d temporarily take a closer-by-committee approach, but he did not commit to that strategy for the postseason.
Kimbrel’s removal from the role was no surprise. He has five blown saves, a 4.02 ERA and a 1.357 WHIP. The Dodgers hoped Daniel Hudson and Blake Treinen would be Kimbrel’s set-up relievers this season, and that either one could replace him in the closer role if needed. However, Hudson is out for the year with a torn ACL and Treinen is on the injured list with right shoulder soreness, an injury that has plagued him all season.