Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has looked like a new man in his last few appearances. His velocity is up and he’s given up just 2 hits all season. Most importantly, he’s converted four straight save opportunities (technically).
It all started after Jansen’s disastrous blown save against the Oakland Athletics. Media and fans, justifiably so, renewed their concern over his role as Dodgers closer. Since then, he almost looks like his 2017 self.
Kenley Jansen, Ridiculous 95mph Cutter. ? pic.twitter.com/7a60qSKpnr
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 20, 2021
Catcher Austin Barnes has certainly noticed Jansen’s recent transformation. The Dodgers catcher affirmed what everyone is seeing from Jansen after last week’s save against the Seattle Mariners.
The last three times I’ve caught Kenley there’s been a lot of conviction behind the throw. He’s coming out hotter.
Barnes knows Jansen better than any catcher currently on the Dodgers. He trails AJ Ellis (195) and Yasmani Grandal (187) in Jansen games caught with 72.
The 2020 World Series hero believes that Jansen’s altered approach has yielded better results as of late.
He’s attacking hitters. He’s not letting the little things get to him anymore.
Perhaps Jansen is finally ignoring the critiques, chatter, and even booing from the Dodgers faithful. Barnes knows the Dodgers clubhouse and certainly knows Jansen. Barnes comment about “the little things” translates to Kenley’s newfound indifference to the constant questioning.
Like the rest of the Dodgers, his battery-mate is as happy as anyone to see Kenley thriving again.
If he gets behind, he comes right back at them. It’s not an easy job being a closer. There’s a lot on you. I’m glad to see him doing so well.
Hopefully, this isn’t just a blip on the radar for Jansen. After everything the Dodgers all-time saves leader has been through, pitching mad might be the answer.
Coming in hot could keep him out.