Many have been calling for the Los Angeles Dodgers to fire manager Dave Roberts after another miserable postseason meltdown, but his job appears to be safe for at least another year.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, Roberts "will return next season," even after the Dodgers were eliminated in the NLDS for the first time in four years. Per Castillo, Roberts is under contract for three more years - having signed an extension last winter.
Though Roberts led the Dodgers to a franchise record 106 regular season wins, his questionable bullpen management played a factor in their surprising 7-3 loss to the Washington Nationals in Game 5.
Roberts brought out All-Star pitcher Clayton Kershaw in relief for the eighth inning to protect a 3-1 lead, even though the three-time NL Cy Young winner has a porous track record in the postseason.
Sure enough, Kershaw served two solo home runs on back-to-back pitches to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto. Kershaw was pulled following another lackluster playoff performance, but Roberts' curious decisions didn't end there.
He put reliever Joe Kelly out for the 10th inning, even though All-Star closer Kenley Jansen was available. Even after allowing the first two batters to reach base, Roberts left Kelly in. Howie Kendrick stepped up to the plate and crushed a grand slam over center field, and the Nationsl held on for the 7-3 victory.
And so, after three straight trips to the NLCS - and following consecutive World Series appearances - the Dodgers are left to deal with perhaps their most stunning playoff defeat of this decade.
Roberts Will Be On The Hot Seat In 2020
Roberts has posted a superb 393-256 record over his four years as the manager in Los Angeles. That includes two seasons of over 100 wins, plus the pair of NL pennants. But at some point, a change will have to be made if the Dodgers continue to fall short of winning their first World Championship since 1988. Roberts probably deserves another chance, but unless the Dodgers get back to the Fall Classic next year, it's hard to envision him making it to 2021.