The storyline early on in the Dodgers season focused on Kenley Jansen. That’s generally where the focus has been over the last few years, especially at the start of a season. But in the final year f his contract, this is a big year for the big man.
One issue we saw early on seemed to be in his usage. As in years past, the Dodgers turning to him on back-to-back days led to poor results. But that’s sort of changed over the last 2 weeks. Roberts has shown a willingness to go to Kenley on back-to-back days, and even several times in a series.
Jansen made 3 appearances against the Diamondbacks this week. In those 3 appearances, he struck out 4 and issued just 1 walk. He also locked down all 3 saves for the Dodgers. But as Doc explained on Sunday, it’s not a new confidence that has him putting him in often.
I’ve had that confidence. I think that stuff outside, I really don’t pay too much attention to. I’ve used him back-to-back and 3 out of 4. He’ll be down today[Sunday], but Kenley’s body and the way he’s moving and performing is more confidence for him. And that’s what’s most important.
Whatever Kenley did to tweak his mechanics has really shown over the last month or so. His totals for the 2021 season should be enough to instill confidence in every Dodgers fan, even with some flashes of struggles.
Kenley has locked down 11 saves and pitched to a 1.31 ERA in 20.2 innings. His walk rate is up for the year, but he really seems to have gotten control of it over the last week. Expect Dave Roberts and the Dodgers to continue going to him often, and on back-to-back days.