in

Dodgers: Dave Roberts Says Kenley Jansen Will Pitch in Other Situations

Kenley Jansen is still the closer… kind of.

Apr 10, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) shakes hands with catcher Austin Barnes (15) after earning a save in the ninth inning of the game against the Oakland Athletics at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Dave Roberts said that Kenley Jansen is still the closer, as reported by Ken Gurnick. The language stops being stark after that though, and instead paints a confusing picture.

Closer In Name Only?

Reading that language, it would appear a clever game is being played by Dave Roberts. Telling someone in the press that they are still the closer, but indicating that other relievers may close games from time to time, can appear to be misleading. If it is not misleading, then it is a very good decision by a manager who knows his players. A decision from a manager who knows what is best for the team. Telling Kenley Jansen he is still the closer puts your support behind the big man.

Kenley may be struggling mightily this year, and he may deserve to lose the closer job, but he has earned the title and support of his manager. He’s given too much to the Dodgers to take the job away from him so coldly.

A New Kind of Closer

This could also be a shift in the mentality, or in the definition of “closer.” The Dodgers front office loves match-ups more than any other team in baseball. A closer role should clearly also reflect that direction. If the heart of the order of a team is up in the 9th inning, and features 2 or 3 left-handed hitters, bring in Kenley Jansen might not be the best choice. Beyond handedness splits, it could be based on the numbers those particular players have against Kenley Jansen. This shifts an old school “a closer is the closer because he is the closer” attitude into a more modern take on the game.

This suits the Dodgers. It shifts them into a more world series winning mentality, and Dave Roberts into a place we haven’t seem him manage before.

Written by AJ Gonzalez

AJ is a lifelong Dodgers fan who grew up in California. His whole family are also lifelong Dodgers fans. He lives in Tennessee with his wife, daughter, beagle, and strat.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. Let him go! He’s going to cost us the World Series he’s Grown man quit babying him. Roberts wouldn’t do that with anyone else!

    • Sadly you have to be careful with these types or they can bring the whole team down. Jansen is the last ego player from those Mattingly teams

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Dodgers

Dodgers: Kenta Maeda and Julio Urías Swapping Roles

Dodgers: Gavin Lux in the Spotlight for MLB Debut