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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Thrilled with Kenley Jansen’s First Summer Camp Outing

Is one game too little to proclaim the big man is back?



After a week-plus of dodging questions about his missing closer, Dave Roberts was relieved when Kenley Jansen finally arrived at Dodger Stadium. Moreover, he was double relieved that Kenley was recovered from contracting the coronavirus ahead of summer camp.

Jansen arrived 11 days away from opening night and with that, the question now switched to can he be ready for that July 23rd matchup? 

On Tuesday, Kenley might have given that answer.

Wednesday afternoon, Doc Roberts was nothing but impressed by the big man, all things considered.

All things considered? …A+. Velocity was fine. The command was really good. He repeated his delivery… the 2-seamer, the cutter backdoor to the lefty — that sequence to Corey was really impressive. Got Cody [Bellinger] to pop up, I thought his command was really good.

Jansen is a 32-year-old with a history of heart issues coming off of the worst season of his career.  Understandably, all eyes were going to be on him heading into the 2020 campaign. Now, you can add COVID-19 to the ledger.

Still, watching him on the bump on Tuesday and you might think you were looking at a game from five years ago — shorter hair and all. Vintage-looking Kenley didn’t come without hard work. 

Over the winter, he slimmed down for the second straight offseason. And he put in work. Often you could find the Dodgers all-time saves leader at the ballpark working out. Additionally, he visited Driveline Baseball’s Kent, Washington headquarters in an effort to break bad habits established after a hamstring injury during spring training 2018.

In spring training 1.0 he looked great allowing only 1 run over 6 appearances. More importantly, he recorded 11 strikeouts, walked none, and regularly touched 93-94 on his cutter. Four months later, and one appearance in, and there’s hope for Kenleyfornia to return to dominance at Chavez Ravine.

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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.

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