Guerra out as Dodgers' closer

Guerra out as Dodgers' closer

LOS ANGELES -- Getting to the ballpark early before Monday's series opener against the Giants, Javy Guerra almost knew the decision was coming.

So when manager Don Mattingly came to him before the game, Guerra wasn't surprised when Mattingly told him that at this point in the season he'd no longer be the Dodgers' closer.

"I had a conversation with Javy today and I think he realized it was coming. He was very understanding," Mattingly said. "I said all along that I didn't want to do this and it is one of those things where I don't want to be hardheaded either. It is the games making the decision for me."

The deal breaker came Sunday against the Cubs when Guerra blew his third save of the season. He couldn't protect a one-run lead in the ninth, walking David DeJesus before allowing a game-tying double to Tony Campana in a game the Dodgers lost, 4-3, in 11 innings.

Guerra has three losses to go with three blown saves on the season. Overall, he's 1-3 with a 5.84 ERA and has converted eight of 11 saves this year.

"I was hoping his save in Colorado would build that confidence, but it has been too much and the uncertainty tells me I have to make that move," said Mattingly.

Guerra will now work out of the bullpen with no defined role, while Kenley Jansen will assume the position of closer. Jansen is 2-0 on the season with two saves and a 2.70 ERA. He's also tied for first in the Majors with 16 appearances.

"It is different being in during the ninth inning, but I just have to attack the hitters and not give the other team any chances," said Jansen.

It is Mattingly's hope that Guerra's new role will allow him to get back into form and return him to the pitcher that rattled off five straight saves to begin the season.

"More than anything, these guys want to win," Mattingly said. "Javy isn't wanting to not get guys out. In the end, I think he just wants to do what is best for the team, understanding he hasn't been getting guys out at the end of the games."