Dodgers Video: Kenley Jansen Begins Offseason Workouts At Dodger Stadium

Unhappy with the results of scaling back his workload during Spring Training in 2018, Kenley Jansen reported to camp this year determined to pitch more regularly. The Los Angeles Dodgers obliged, but the closer’s struggles still carried into the 2019 season.

Jansen’s mechanics, velocity and command of his patented cutter were inconsistent throughout much of the year and it amounted to what he described as the most challenging season of his career. The Dodgers nonetheless began the postseason with Jansen as their closer, but open to using him in non-save situations as well.

Both of Jansen’s appearances in the National League Division Series came under those circumstances and he retired all five batters faced for 1.2 scoreless innings. How that may have translated throughout October will never be known as the Dodgers were eliminated by the Washington Nationals.

Less than two weeks later after the season came to an abrupt and surprising end, Jansen has returned to Dodger Stadium for workouts, via Dodger Insider:

Kenley Jansen is already back at the field throwing and working out.

— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) October 21, 2019

— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) October 21, 2019

Jansen finished the 2019 campaign at 5-3 with 33 saves, a 3.71 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 62 games. It was the fewest saves Jansen had since 2013, and career worst marks in blown saves (eight) and ERA, and his second-highest WHIP.

Although Jansen managed to reduce home runs allowed from 13 last year to nine, he still proved susceptible to the long ball. The majority of his struggles were attributed to being unable to consistently keep his mechanics in place.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is confident a focus on that during the offseason will ultimately pay dividends.

“I think it’s one of those things that he feels good and there were decent chunks of time this year where everything kind of synced up and his stuff was objectively better,” Friedman said.
“And other times where he struggled more.

“I think so much of it is about his delivery and just syncing all that back up. Obviously he’s a very large human, so sometimes things can get out of wack a little bit. I think a lot of the focus this offseason will be about trying to lock that down and having him be able to repeat more consistently.

“He’s another guy that as far as making a bet in terms of people doing everything they can to put themselves in position to have success, I will absolutely bet on him.

“When you have that, and some awareness that we learned during the season it’s hard to make those adjustments on the fly, I’m excited about what he’s capable of next year and feel like he’ll be a big part of us winning games.”

While Friedman voiced confidence in Jansen, he wavered some on the 32-year-old remaining the Dodgers’ distinguished closer. “I haven’t really gotten into exact specifics of offseason planning, just more kind of broad strokes,” Friedman said.

“My sense is Kenley will be our closer. We’ll see how things play out.