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Dodgers: Kenley Jansen Still Believes in Himself Despite a Series of Poor Outings

The big man has had a rough go of it in 2019.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 21: Kenley Jansen #74 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after giving up a solo homerun to Rowdy Tellez #44 of the Toronto Blue Jays, to tie the game 1-1, during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on August 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

There’s no going around it, Kenley Jansen has not been good as of late.

On Wednesday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead into the ninth only for Jansen to give up a solo home run which would send the game into extra innings.

The Dodgers would ultimately go on to win the game just an inning later thanks to a walk-off home run from Max Muncy, but Muncy’s heroics don’t excuse Jansen’s unreliability. The fans certainly let him know how they felt at the end of the inning.

Yet despite reaching what appears to be a low point in what has been an impressive career thus far, Jansen still remains confident in his ability to close for the team.

He believes it’s only a matter of time until the fans are back on his side.

Can He be Trusted Come October?

It’s great to see the Dodgers’ closer keep his spirits high in the midst of disastrous performances, but until he starts performing, his words, unfortunately, don’t really mean much.

It truly seems as if Jansen has played his way from a valuable asset into a liability. And, at this point in the season, the Dodgers have other relievers that they may be wise to explore as possible replacements in the closer spot.

One can only hope Jansen will somehow recapture his pre-2018 season magic, but every day the sentiment becomes bleaker and bleaker.

Let us know what you think the Dodgers should do about the closer spot below!

Written by Kellan Grant

I’m currently a junior at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and I have a passion for sports journalism. I grew up in the LA area and am a diehard fan of the Dodgers, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, Kings. My favorite Dodgers memory was watching Kershaw tear up after the team won the 2017 NLCS and advanced to the World Series for the first time in his career. After college, I plan on either pursuing a career as a sports journalist or working in sports law.

8 Comments

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  1. I totally agree with this article. I mean at some point Kenley Jansen needs to accept the fact that physically he’ll never be the same again. While we feel sympathetic for him coming off heart surgery, opponent bats have no sympathy whatsoever. We’ve seen great Dodger closers dominance drop off over a quick span in the likes of Eric Gagne, Jonathan Broxton, Jeff Shaw, Takashi Saito, let’s not forget Tom Niedenfuer (do we need a repeat of that in this year’s playoffs?). For Kenley Jansen and the Dodgers it’s time to part ways otherwise a Kenley Jansen BLOW SAVE nightmare for the ages will occur in this year’s playoffs, and when that happens Dodgers fans will never forgive Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman no matter how many great accomplishments they’ve done for this team.

  2. I think that Jansen has earned the right to be our closer in the playoffs. Having said that, he is at a point in his career where we can no longer keep him as the closer during the playoffs if he starts to falter. The other options, in order, should be Kelly, Urias then Baez.

    • “Earned the right”? Seriously?
      By being knocked around when the game is on the line?
      Ancient history will not get batters out.
      “Kelly, Urias then Baez.” There you go.
      Thanks

  3. I wouldn’t part ways, just use him in a different capacity. Maybe, just maybe the magic will return. Right now, Kelly is my closer until he proves me wrong. Otherwise it’s who ever has the hot hand.

    • Howard32, I also believe the decision by KJ to opt out or not may depend on how the team finishes during October baseball. If he decides to opt out for a bigger deal I cannot imagine after what has happened so far this year that any team would be willing to shell out more money for him. But I do agree here that as you say the player with the hot hand (presently Kelly) should get the ball in the 9th inning.

  4. I never want to see Jansen as the closer in any meaningful game ever again. He can’t even come through in the meaningless games they’ve been playing for the last month. Giving up the lead or a home run has become almost a predictable result. His fastball isn’t good enough anymore and has little if any movement.

  5. Jansen ‘believes in himself’ like the 65 year old, big gold chain wearing dude, who believes the young girls think he’s hot.

    The Dodgers will not, cannot win with him in any tight situation, period.

    The proof is there for all to see.

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