Dodgers Spring Training: Kenley Jansen Looking To Improve After ‘Timing Was A Little Off’ Against Rangers

This past offseason was a positive one for Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen as not only was he healthy and not recovering from heart surgery, but he was able to work with Driveline Baseball to refine his mechanics and pitch repertoire in preparation for a bounce-back season.

Additionally, the plan for Jansen this spring was to be aggressive in his throwing program and get on the mound earlier than past years when he was slow-played.

The results have been outstanding so far as Jansen has appeared in three Cactus League, tossing three perfect innings with six strikeouts. The noticeable difference is that he has been using a slider with more frequency, and his cutter is getting the life it was when he was perhaps the best reliever in all of baseball before regressing over the past two years.

Jansen’s third spring appearance came on Sunday against the Texas Rangers, and he needed just 10 pitches to retire the side in order while striking out one. Despite the positive results, Jansen revealed that he wasn’t feeling at his best, as seen on SportsNet LA:

“Just have to keep working, keep grinding and get better every day. Didn’t feel that great on the mound but that’s when you have to use your head and secondary pitches. Timing was a little off, so just going to watch some tape and figure out things. Continue to get better.”

It’s a good sign that Jansen was still able to get outs despite not feeling great physically. With it being so early in the spring, it is not uncommon for a reliever like himself to not yet be where he wants to be.

There is still plenty of time to get prepared for Opening Day though. Jansen did not make his first spring appearance until March 3 until a year ago, so he is already well ahead of where he normally is at this time.

If everyone stays healthy, then Jansen will be joined by Blake Treinen, Joe Kelly, Pedro Baez, Brusdar Graterol and others to form one of the best bullpens in the league. That is a stark contrast to previous seasons when the bullpen often was the Dodgers’ biggest weakness.

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