Dave Roberts has put a lot of faith in his closer. Even with last season’s postseason struggles still fresh in the minds of many, the Dodgers’ manager has affirmed time and time again that Kenley Jansen will be the team’s closer heading into the new season.
According to Roberts, Kenley has looked extremely motivated throughout spring training. Not just motivated, but as if he had something to prove. And after another stellar performance on Wednesday afternoon, the long-time closer got a chance to respond to this narrative.
At the end of the day, I know who I am. I know what I’m capable of doing. So whatever image is out there right now, that’s not me. That’s all I can say, and I’m gonna stay true to myself. I’m gonna keep putting work in.
To his credit, Kenley Jansen has been enjoying a great start to the spring this year. In 5 innings pitched, he has yet to give up a run and has 9 strikeouts compared to only 2 base hits. In fact, Wednesday’s game against the White Sox may have been his most impressive outing yet.
Another dominant inning for Kenley Jansen. He struck out the side in the 5th. Started the outing with two three-pitch strikeouts, the second one against Tim Anderson. He threw 12 pitches, 10 strikes. Velo was 90-92 mph, according to the stadium radar gun.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) March 17, 2021
Kenley Jansen has definitely looked like a man on a mission so far. His intensity on the mound is palpable, and there is little wasted effort on any of his deliveries. It’s almost as if he feels that he has something to prove… but Jansen made it clear that he doesn’t feel the pressure.
So to me, no. To give you an honest answer, I don’t feel like I have anything to prove but to get the job done. That’s what they pay me to do here, get the job done and I’m gonna prove that I can get the job done.
Only time will tell if the success that Jansen has had will carry over to the regular season, but he is certainly on the right track. With free agency waiting for him at season’s end, there may be an extra incentive for him to impress the Dodgers and the rest of the league.