Dodgers leave closer Kimbrel off NLDS roster vs. Padres

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Los Angeles Dodgers' pitcher Clayton Kershaw fields a ball during baseball practice Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, in Los Angeles for the National League division series against the San Diego Padres. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES – Veteran closer Craig Kimbrel was left off the Los Angeles Dodgers’ roster for their National League Division Series against the San Diego Padres.

Kimbrel was demoted from his closer’s role two weeks ago after struggling all season as the replacement for veteran Kenley Jansen, who signed with Atlanta in the offseason.

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Kimbrel was 6-7 with 22 saves in his first season in Los Angeles, where fans booed him at times. In his final three appearances, the right-hander didn't allow any hits or runs.

“It hasn't been a consistent year for him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We just have other guys that we felt had been more consistent and that match up with these guys better.”

The 34-year-old Kimbrel is an eight-time All-Star who leads active pitchers in saves with 394 — three more than Jansen.

“It was a tough conversation. It’s a person, a player I have so much respect for," Roberts said. “He was very disappointed as he should.”

But the Dodgers have plenty of depth in their bullpen and included 13 pitchers on their roster, with Dustin May and Blake Treinen among them.

May made six starts after returning from Tommy John surgery before going on the 15-day injured list Sept. 24 with lower back tightness. The right-hander made a relatively quick recovery after taking a short break from throwing.

Treinen has been working to overcome right shoulder trouble. His biggest obstacle has been feeling good in the days after throwing. The right-hander has only appeared in five games this season. An appearance in the NLDS would be his first in a major league game since Sept. 5.

Veteran left-hander David Price isn't on the roster. The 37-year-old five-time All-Star has been sidelined since the start of September by inflammation in his left wrist. Price, a former starter, worked out of the bullpen this season, going 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA and two saves in 40 appearances. The 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner has indicated he's considering retiring at season's end.

There were no surprises among the 13 position players named to the Dodgers' roster. Miguel Vargas, a 22-year-old rookie, was chosen over infielder Hanser Alberto.

“With our roster, we’ve got a lot of coverage infield-wise, outfield-wise,” Roberts said, “but to have somebody that can run like him, that the bat-to-ball to potentially drive in a run, we feel really comfortable with that.”

The Padres named 13 pitchers to their roster, including Game 1 starter Mike Clevinger and Game 2 starter Yu Darvish. Joining them are right-handers Luis García, Pierce Johnson, Nick Martinez, Joe Musgrove, Robert Suarez and Steven Wilson, as well as left-handers Josh Hader, Tim Hill, Sean Manaea, Adrian Morejon and Blake Snell.

Also on the Padres' roster: catchers Jorge Alfaro, Luis Campusano and Austin Nola; infielders Josh Bell, Jake Cronenworth, Brandon Drury, Ha-Seong Kim, Manny Machado and Wil Myers; and outfielders José Azocar, Trent Grisham, Jurickson Profar and Juan Soto.

Game 1 of the best-of-five series is Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. Julio Urías starts for the Dodgers.


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