Manager Dave Roberts stated there's a good chance Maeda will be called upon for the ninth inning in a save situation Friday against the Mariners, David Vassegh of AM 570 LA Sports reports. Maeda suffered a loss in his first appearance out of the bullpen since transitioning from the rotation, as he was deployed in the ninth inning of Tuesday's contest against the Giants and gave up a run on three hits. Despite this, Roberts' confidence in Maeda amid tight ballgames doesn't seem to have wavered -- he'll turn right back to him in the absence of Kenley Jansen (irregular heartbeat).
Maeda was charged with a loss after giving up a run on three hits while striking out one over an inning against the Giants on Tuesday. Scott Alexander had faltered recently in crucial late-inning situations, so manager Dave Roberts turned to Maeda in the ninth inning of a tie game at home, a scenario that is usually reserved for a team's closer. The move doesn't confirm that the converted starter will close out games going forward, especially considering he was unable to get the job done. That said, it does show Roberts' willingness to use Maeda in late-inning situations while Kenley Jansen (chest) is on the disabled list.
Maeda will move to the bullpen, Pedro Moura of The Athletic Los Angeles reports. Maeda has been a solid pitcher as a whole this season, producing a 3.80 ERA and a 10.7 K/9 in 109 frames. However, with Alex Wood (hamstring) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (groin) nearing a return to action, the Japanese import will move to the bullpen. Maedas success this season could make him an option for high-leverage work down the stretch, and closing out games isn't out of the question while star closer Kenley Jansen (irregular heartbeat) is sidelined.
Maeda gave up three earned runs on six hits over 5.1 innings in a no-decision in the Dodgers' 5-4 loss to the Rockies on Friday. He struck out seven and walked three. Maeda emerged with a solid line in a treacherous matchup against the Rockies at Coors Field, missing out on a quality start by two-thirds of an inning. He was in line for a win when he departed the contest in the sixth inning, but the Rockies got to reliever Zac Rosscup for two runs, forcing Maeda to settle for the no-decision. The 30-year-old has managed to post a useful fantasy campaign despite the occasional hiccup, with a 3.80 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 130 strikeouts in 109 innings. It's possible he heads to the bullpen in the near future with Alex Wood (hamstring) nearing a return, although that move wouldn't necessarily sink Maeda's fantasy value as he could emerge as a top replacement option for Kenley Jansen (irregular heartbeat).
Maeda may transition to a role in the bullpen following Friday's start against Colorado, Andy McCullough of The Los Angeles Times reports. Kenley Jansen is expected to miss around a month of action while dealing with an irregular heartbeat, so Maeda could receive some save opportunities alongside Scott Alexander if this does indeed happen. Over 21 appearances (19 starts) with the Dodgers this year, Maeda has posted a 3.73 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with a 10.7 K/9.