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Dodgers Dave Roberts On Kenley Jansen’s Rocky Progress

The closer hears the boo birds again at Dodger Stadium…

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 31: Kenley Jansen #74 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Dodger Stadium on May 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

The Dodgers got the 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night. The veterans were in the spotlight for Los Angeles as Russell Martin, David Freese, and Justin Turner all hit home runs en route to victory. Moreover, Kenley Jansen earned the save, but once again it was not an easy one. He allowed a run on 1 hit and 1 walk, getting some boo birds along the way from the Dodger faithful.

In fact, it reportedly got a little worse than only boos…

…nevertheless, Jansen secured the win, which is what he gets paid for.

After the game, manager Dave Roberts was once again asked to answer some uncomfortable questions about his veteran closer.

With Kenley I thought there were some good throws, but you can’t have that walk right there. That’s something that… we’ve looked at his success and the strikeout versus the walk ratio is significant. And right there, you get a leadoff out — and the walk right there… we’ve got to get past that.

Kenley has been scored upon in 4 of his last 6 outings and his season ERA now sits at a career high 3.86 in 53 games in 2019. And now, the expectation from Dave is that his closer start commanding the baseball better.

Kenley made pitches when he needed to, but when you don’t command the baseball like you’re expected to, then it’s just hard to put guys away. But it was a save, and hopefully it’s something he can build on.

With the win, the magic number to clinch a playoff spot fell to 5, but the fear in the minds of the fan base is still ever present in the 9th inning with a lead.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

29 Comments

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  1. Dave Roberts…………make the hard call and put kenley on the shelf. Put Kershaw in the bullpen and use him in the middle innings. Start our young guns and put Ryu in the penn as well. You get paid to make the right decisions not the popular ones to sooth egos. We need to win now!!!!!

    • Put Kershaw and Ryu in the pen? I’m going to assume since it was 237am when you posted this, that you were drunk.

  2. No doubt Kenley is struggling, but I don’t like hearing that he got booed. Save your boos for the team that plays up in the Bay Area in the halloween costumes!

    • They booed the wrong person. The guy that should be booed is Dave Roberts for keeping Jansen as closer. If Justin Turner didn’t hit that HR in the 8th, Dodgers would have led 4 – 2, Jansen gave up a run, runners still on 1st and 3rd, Rockies execute a hit and run, bang! Game tied! Another BS for Jansen. Just imagine what could have easily happened.

      Dave Roberts is playing with fire.

    • Uhhhhhh no those clowns aren’t even worth booing. We save our boos for important matters. We want this championship once and for all and if it means getting Jansen out of the closer role then so be it

    • Jansen is getting about $19,000,000 this year. That’s nineteen MILLION.
      He’s simply not earning it, not even close. In fact he’s god awful.
      He deserves to be booed and so does the incompetent Dave Roberts.

  3. The Dodgers should and soon find the right person to close and realise it is not Kenley Jansen, he CANNOT close any longer , Please, what does it take for Robert’s to understand this ??? !!! It’s gone on long enough , try using the new guys at times or the veteran it can’t hurt , but time is running out ,do not waste it on Jansen , stop being the nice guy to him , Jansen , his” CONFIDENCE” is not there, and it won’t be anytime or anymore this year. Move on already.

  4. I’ve been saying for months “the Kenley problem “ is Dave Roberts *taking a position*. My husband tried that strategy and he’s now an EX. Dave *needs to go after EIGHT blown saves. Wake up Front Office. No WS ring for you while YOU WATCH Kenley blow 20 game lead. Yes BOOOO

  5. The problem is Dave Roberts his arogant attitude has costs us two loses in the World Series he needs to go

  6. First, Daniel’s comment above is perfect. I’m with him.

    Second, the idiots (with short memories) in the ballpark who chant “We want Kelly,” should Shut Up.

    • Hey Jim! I’m with you. Good post! Kenley is driving all of us crazy but booing him? That just exhibits a serious lack of class. Short memories as you put it too……..Kenley was one of the Dodgers strongest weapons for several years lest we forget that fact. He deserves better from the Dodger faithful. But I think these people who are booing Kenley are just idiots. And Kelly……..yea they do have a short attention span……it was just months ago that they were booing him, now they keep endorsing him to be the new closer. These people just do not get it. Do we need a new closer? Yea. Kenley is no longer “the man”……..so it is incumbent on Roberts to look for someone new within our bullpen or minor league system. For me, the maddening part about all this……..Roberts keeps trying to prop up Kenley when he should be trying someone new. Kenley’s confidence is obviously shot.
      Is it Urias, is it Baez. is it Kelly? I don’t know. But it has been clearly time to make a change for several months now and he still has not done it. Roberts is a players manager first, we all get it. But at some point you have to stop being the guys friend and do what is best for the TEAM!

  7. His body language is horrible. His attitude is worse. Not only is he failing to do his job, he’s become the most unlikable player on the team.

    I used to be one of his biggest fans. Now, I can’t stand the guy.

    • If the fan’s attitudes and this booing keeps up, not to worry he WILL opt out of his remaining deal even if it means he’s leaving more $$ on the table and settles for a lesser deal elsewhere.

          • Get serious.
            Who would even want Jansen?
            Why would another team pay his salary of 19M per year when he can’t do his job, he isn’t very smart, and has a childish attitude problem?
            He’s an embarrassment.

  8. Plain and simple KJ can’t close any more! Kelly Gonsolin any body but him! No more excuses. I’m sure the players behind him have no confidence. As a former coach and athlete I don’t !!!

  9. It probably sounds redundant, but sometimes stating the obvious is necessary: Baseball is about a player’s performance in the moment, not last month or last year. With position players performance is measured in every at bat or defensive opportunity. Hit the ball, catch the ball throw the ball. DOING those things in the game being played is what it is all about and what puts W’s in the right column.

    Jansen based conversations with Robert’s seem to be circular, in that they start by describing Kenley’s “progress”, then drift over into his latest late-inning walk, home run given up, or blown save, followed by some sage baseball talk about the need to “not do that”. However, by the end of the Robert’s chat the tone is back about what’s going to be different about Kenley in the next game after he has “built on’ whatever it is that needs “construction.”.

    Given the Dodger’s lead on the division, Robert’s attempt to salvage Jansen’s season as THE closer, is becoming a somewhat inconveniently timed reclamation project,. That is, the club’s ahead and it therefor follows that things will work out, but if not it will still be OK because the Division is locked down.

    I assume if there is a plan to replace Jansen, if his performance continues to degrade, somebody’s got it in the back of their mind (hopefully Roberts). Perhaps the best approach would be to give another guy the chance to fill the closer slot UNTIL Jansen gets actual performance back, if that’s possible. Waiting to shuffle the BP assignments once in the playoffs is something of a suboptimal plan and if it costs the Club an elimination this year, the situation will be ugly and linger.

    There’s something to be said for Sabremetrics, but theres also something to be said for paying close attention to what is happening on the field, during the game being played. If Jansen is a “work in progress” isn’t it a bit late for him to be trying out for the closer slot?

  10. Kenley deserves a incredible respectful thank you from all of us for his PAST help being a great Dodger. Father time is saying Kenley needs to take the stress off. He has had a heart problem and thrown many many pitches over his career. It isn’t just this season either that he’s had some troubles. He’s blown World Series and playoff games recently so it’s not just this year. At this moment I’m going to be a Armchair manager and switch he and Kelly. Kenley needs to be the set up man to Baez, and Baez to Kelly. Jansen needs to pitch 6th or 7th. Not a hard decision to make at this time.Roberts better do what we all know needs to be done for the best interest of the team. Roberts booing is coming if he doesn’t manage the game rather than the egos and pride of the players.

    • these decisions I am sure involve collaboration with the FO and it appears that if the team simply remains competitive for a WS run, then that appears to be good enough for them. WE ALL TO A MAN OR WOMAN know that this current BP situation will not get us a WS ring anytime soon and in fact I am not sure Dodgers will make it out of 1st round of playoffs.

  11. Besides Kenley Jansen, the other alarming trend is the Dodgers’ bullpen. Take yesterday’s game for example; Garcia, Floor, Sadler, each allowed hit in their one inning of relief, Maeda allowed back to back HRs in one inning the game before yesterday. That means everytime Dodgers bring in a relief pitcher, they run 100% risk of putting a runner on base. This is especially dangerous in the playoffs; If they only lead by one run in late innings, mostly likely they will lose the game, not good, not good at all.

  12. Boy I could have won more $$ if I were in Vegas simply betting that ole Yimi Garcia would serve up yet another HR.. That’s 15 of them from this ‘reliever’ and that leads the NL When is enough going to be enough with him! ???

  13. the time has run out for the “what ifs”…….all season long you have had all of these players and still don’t know what they can do and all season long we have had to deal with “decisions” that come from management…….when will you realize that you can’t have bench warmers being starters and you keep starting them and when will you realize that jensen doesn’t have it and you have to hold your breath every time he is on the mound….this problem should have been fixed a long time ago along with roberts

  14. bearcounty62@gmail.com

    Dave Roberts does not know how to manage his pitchers, he blew the 2017 World Series by taking Hill out when everything was going well. The reliever blew it and we lost our momentum and the series, thanks Dave. Basically the
    same thing happened last year. He keeps changing pitchers with no reason to
    change them. Its time for the front office to step in before we lose 3 World Series in a row. He gets paid to win the WS after 30 years without one. I have
    been a Dodger fan for 65 years and Dave Roberts better wake up. I would fire
    him before we lose 3 in a row.

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