Dodgers News: Kenley Jansen Wants To ‘Prove’ He Can Be Effective In Back-To-Back Appearances

Once a stable and dominant force at the end of the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen, Kenley Jansen has been unable to replicate his usual elite form this season.

On one hand, the right-hander has recorded 32 saves while recording 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings — his best mark since an All-Star 2017 campaign. On the flip side, he has posted career-worsts in many categories, including ERA (3.77), blown saves (eight) and Baseball-Reference’s WAR (0.1).

In what he has described as one of the most challenging seasons of his career, Jansen remains optimistic that he’ll be able to rise to the occasion when it matters most.

In addition to finishing the regular season on a strong note, Jansen has set his sights on proving he can be efficient when pitching in back-to-back appearances, via Ken Gurnick of

“I know the second half hasn’t gone well at all,” Jansen said. “Just a lot of noise, let’s say it like that. I just have to show myself being here for my teammates. I never lost the confidence in myself. The numbers don’t look good when I go back-to-back, Doc and I talked about it today. It’s something I need to prove. Scientists are not right all the time and I want to prove them wrong.”

As Jansen alluded to, he has not particularly been sharp when pitching on consecutive days this season. In those situations, he owns a 1-2 record, 5.79 ERA and 1.36 WHIP with 16 strikeouts against five walks across 14 innings pitched (15 games).

In his most recent opportunity to pitch on back-to-back days this week, Jansen thrived with two shutout innings against the San Diego Padres. He yielded just one baserunner during the stretch, and it culminated on Wednesday with him recording the 300th save of his career.

Jansen, already the all-time saves leader in Dodgers history, became just the 30th player ever to reach the threshold. He was additionally the fourth-youngest to do so, trailing only Craig Kimbrel, Francisco Rodriguez and Huston Street.

The scoreless appearance was Jansen’s seventh in September. He has posted a 3.48 ERA in 10 appearances — an excellent bounce back after compiling an ERA of 5.00 or more over the previous two months.

While Roberts remains committed to Jansen in the closer role for the time being, he has not ruled out making a change during the postseason should his struggles resurface.