Three weeks remain in the regular season, and the Dodgers are still tinkering with their bullpen. Kenta Maeda served as a long reliever Sunday against the San Francisco Giants, the second consecutive game in which he’s filled that role. He pitched four scoreless innings, allowed one single, walked none, and struck out six.
That is not the role Maeda will fill in October.
“In the postseason, Kenta’s value essentially is to be available every game,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “So a long guy is not Kenta. Kenta should pitch leverage innings in the postseason, very important innings.”
None of this is new, of course. Maeda has taken on high-leverage relief roles in each of the last two postseasons after starting for most of the regular season. However, this is the most precisely Roberts has defined Maeda’s role going forward, after previously leaving open the possibility that Maeda might start again in 2019.