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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Comments On Kenley Jansen As Closer Role For Postseason

“I know that Kenley is our closer.”

Kenley Jansen celebrates a save at Dodger Stadium.

Undeniably, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is firm in who his closer is entering the MLB postseason. Without question, that man is Kenley Jansen. As we will get into – Roberts reaffirmed this notion at Dodgers’ Media Day on Tuesday at Chavez Ravine.

Recently – Roberts spoke not of any type of closer controversy – but the need for a ‘confident’ Kenley Jansen in October. Clearly, this is a team that will sink or swim with the big man at the end of ballgames.

Furthermore, when asked about the status of his bullpen at the end of a game; Roberts didn’t blink.

Truly, the one quote he gives says it all.

“I know Kenley is our closer. The goal is to get outs. I want him to have the ball at the end of a game.”

Indeed – if this is what Roberts wants – he will have it. While he has no doubt about what button to push in a tight spot during a month where those situations are abundant, Jansen must execute.

Without question, 2019 was the toughest year of Jansen’s big league career. His age-31 season saw his ERA climb to a career-high 3.71 in 62 appearances. While he tallied a respectable 33 saves and 1.06 WHIP, those numbers are out of line with his career norms. Furthermore, Jansen surrendered 7.3 hits per nine innings pitched; far above his career average of 5.8 per nine.

Clearly, this is a player who must find it within himself a way to miss bats and rise above a season of struggles. Fresh off a birthday celebration, Jansen must return to action with the confidence that Roberts talks about. The Dodgers will go as far as the man with the ball in the ninth will take them.

Finally, it’s almost a guarantee that Jansen will have the ball in his hand against a good team in the final frame. Moreover, the Dodgers will have a lead. It is from that point perhaps; that the final chapters of the 2019 Dodgers will be written.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

3 Comments

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  1. “but the need for a ‘confident’ Kenley Jansen in October”………….I have been saying all season long that .”Kenley’s problem is between his ears”……….Kenley has insisted it’s not a problem, but even “Dave” has admitted it is, but he called it “a lack of interest”. So the description I don’t agree with but he (Roberts) does acknowledge THE problem. But just bluntly saying “I know Kenley is our closer”, that does not solve the problem. So we go into the post season all knowing the success of the entire teams season, everything that everyone has worked so hard to achieve rides on the teams current weakest link. That is not unusual, what is unusual? Having identified this, our manager is not going to do anything about fixing it.

    • It has been difficult to understand Robert’s and the Dodger Management mind set with Kenley. He has proven he is no longer an elite closer. Why not have live arms like Kelly, May Urias close by committee? This has worked for other WS winning teams.

      Watch Kenley constantly not hit the catchers target. He does not have good control and has lost velocity. These are not components to make a great closer. If you do not have control, velocity and great pitch movement you are going to get hit. And he has…
      I have always thought Roberts is not a good manager as he is always a players manager and will not make the hard decision. He has been very fortunate to have been given an incredibly talented club that wins despite him rather than because of his skill. His pitching moves have lost the Dodgers a game in the last two WS. I am afraid he will do it again.

  2. “Top to bottom, it’s the best team we’ve had’

    Roberts has said it. If they don’t win, it’s on him. The problem has been the manager/owners running the team on the field. I’ve been to too many games and have seen Jansen blow the game, and the stadium saw it coming. If the Dodger players are fine with Jansen as their closer, then so be it. I don’t gain anything for a Dodgers post-season win or loss. I go to games regardless. I’m fine with watching the 1988 WS highlights before, and during every Dodger home game. It’s not as though we are going to be able to watch them on TV anyways

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