6/30/2013 2:50 A.M. ET
Jansen solidifying closer's role for Dodgers
By Ken Gurnick and Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Kenley Jansen has made the most of his second turn as the Dodgers' closer.
Since manager Don Mattingly named Jansen the closer on June 11, the hard-throwing right-hander has converted four of five save chances. He's held opponents scoreless in seven of his eight outings, striking out 14 over eight innings.
"He's brought stability to the end of the game for us," Mattingly said. "It's been nice. I think he always wanted to be that guy."
Jansen was the closer last season, but complications from an irregular heartbeat forced him to miss time and the Dodgers traded for Brandon League. After coming over from Seattle, League finished the season as the closer and began 2013 in the same role. But League lost his job when he blew his fourth save on June 10.
Now, Jansen is back in a role he covets.
"I've always felt that way," he said.
Jansen has allowed just one run in his last 17 appearances, a solo homer in Pittsburgh on June 15 that resulted in his first blown save of the month. He's struck out 58 in 40 innings, though, with a 2.25 ERA and 0.925 WHIP.
"I'm just being aggressive and trusting my stuff and letting it work," Jansen said.
Still, Jansen is known to have a tender arm and was unavailable for Friday's 16-1 loss to the Phillies after pitching five of the previous six days.
Dodgers keep tabs on Cuban righty Gonzalez
LOS ANGELES -- While the Dodgers were among the clubs scouting Cuban right-handed pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez in Mexico on Friday, their current interest is lukewarm, a baseball source said Saturday.
Gonzalez has been rumored to be seeking a financial package in excess of the $42 million the Dodgers paid fellow Cuban Yasiel Puig. But the Dodgers apparently won't be nearly as aggressive for Gonzalez as they were with Puig, who signed a year ago and has had a remarkable first month in the Major Leagues.
The Dodgers signed Puig, not only to acquire a high-ceiling talent, but to send a message that they were re-entering the international market after ignoring it for a decade.
Like Puig, Gonzalez has missed much of the past two seasons after being suspended by the Cuban national team for attempting to flee the island, finally succeeding early this year. He is 26 and, having played in Cuba for more than three years, his bonus won't count against a club's international signing limit.
The Cubs, Red Sox and Angels also attended Gonzalez's short start for Tijuana. He can't sign with a Major League club until he receives clearance from the U.S. Treasury Department, which could come as soon as next week.
Beckett to undergo surgery, likely out for season
LOS ANGELES -- Josh Beckett likely won't pitch again this season for the Dodgers.
Beckett, diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, will undergo surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve in his neck area. The right-hander will have the procedure on the week of July 8. Dr. Greg Pearl will perform the operation in Dallas.
Beckett's recovery is expected to take between three to five months, according to the Dodgers.
Beckett has been dealing with numbness and tingling in his pitching hand since Spring Training. He was 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts this year when put on the disabled list May 14. Beckett resumed throwing earlier this week, but suffered a setback while playing catch on Friday.
"I know he had some tingling after throwing, and he hadn't been throwing very long," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said before Saturday's game against the Phillies. Beckett consulted with team physician Neal ElAttrache and Pearl before deciding to undergo surgery. The procedure involves removing an upper rib that compresses nerve tissue near the neck and shoulder.
Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter underwent the same procedure last July and returned in time to pitch in the postseason. But he has not pitched this season. Beckett said earlier this month that he had spoken to Carpenter about his condition.
With Beckett unlikely to return to the rotation this season, right-hander Stephen Fife is likely to remain with the club. The Dodgers also hope left-hander Ted Lilly returns from the disabled list in July. Lilly is scheduled to make a rehab start with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday.
The Dodgers also are without starter Chad Billingsley, who had season-ending surgery on his right elbow in April. Reliever Scott Elbert is also done for the year following Tommy John surgery in June.
Hard-throwing Dominguez called up to bolster bullpen
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers needed a fresh arm in their bullpen on Saturday, so they promoted Jose Dominguez from Triple-A Albuquerque.
Dominguez is known for his fastball, which can reach 103 mph. He began the season with Double-A Chattanooga before moving up to Albuquerque. Dominguez, 22, has struck out 40 in 25 1/3 innings in the Minor Leagues this season.
"He's been known to clock the gun pretty good," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "It looks like he's around the plate. He's got a pretty good slider, uses his changeup some. He's got more than just [velocity]."
The Dodgers needed a fresh arm because the bullpen picked up 4 1/3 innings on Friday. Peter Moylan pitched two innings, and was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Dominguez, who last pitched Thursday.
Dominguez served a 25-game suspension at the start of the season for violating baseball's drug policy. He was also given a 50-game suspension in 2009 after testing positive for performance enhancers.
While Dominguez did not begin the year on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers had an open spot after designating infielder Luis Cruz for assignment on Friday when outfielder Scott Van Slyke was activated from the disabled list.
Dominguez is making his first trip to the Major Leagues.
"I'd like to be able to use him in a position that's not totally stressful right away," Mattingly said.
Moylan appeared in 10 games after being promoted from Triple-A on May 31 and was 1-0 with a 6.35 ERA.
The Dodgers still don't have a long reliever in their bullpen. As a result, they needed two innings from Moylan on Friday after starter Chris Capuano was unable to make it out of the fourth inning. Matt Guerrier pitched 1 1/3 innings and Brandon League pitched the eighth before second baseman Skip Schumaker fired a scoreless ninth.
"There's been a couple games that it would have been nice to have that true long man," Mattingly said.