Rookie Garcia is an early unsung hero in Dodgers' bullpen

Rookie Garcia is an early unsung hero in Dodgers' bullpen

LOS ANGELES -- When the Dodgers lost closer Kenley Jansen to injury on the eve of Spring Training and manager Don Mattingly indicated he would mix and match and close by committee, even he didn't offer up Yimi Garcia as an off-the-radar savior.

But the rookie has quickly risen up the late-game pecking order and has come away with decisions in back-to-back walk-off wins, making Garcia the team leader with two victories.

Garcia has pitched six innings, faced 21 batters and struck out 10 with one intentional walk. He struck out two of the three batters he faced in both games against Seattle, after striking out four in two innings Friday night in Arizona.

Garcia, veteran Joel Peralta and lefty Paco Rodriguez have inherited late-inning duties while Chris Hatcher and J.P. Howell have struggled, although Hatcher looked much improved while striking out two of the four batters he faced in Tuesday night's 6-5 win after taking over for Howell, who struck out two.

Hatcher, the presumed closer coming out of a rocky Spring Training, is still viewed as the likely setup man to the injured Jansen once everybody is at full strength.

"He has good stuff and a lot of weapons, but if he doesn't use them in the right combination, that kind of goes away," said Mattingly.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.