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Dodgers News: Kenley Jansen Given Vote of Confidence From Dave Roberts

“He’s going to be just fine.”

Dodgers

On Friday night, Kenley Jansen blew a big one for the Los Angeles Dodgers. While working on a new delivery, he blew a 2-0 lead to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Already on shaky ground, Jansen has little margin for error amongst the fan base in terms of confidence.

However, that same sentiment does not reside within manager Dave Roberts’ thoughts at the current time. Bill Plunkett at the OC Register writes about the infamous ‘vote of confidence’ given by Roberts in regards to Jansen.

First and foremost, Roberts says that not only is he not concerned; but the Dodgers need Jansen to win a title.

“Do I have any concerns? No,” Roberts said. “He’s a guy that I know for us to win 11 games in October, we need him. I know he’ll get there. So we’re going to continue to run him out there. He’s done it many times over. He had a good ‘pen today and if the situation arises tonight he’ll be back out there.”

Without question, the Dodgers are trying to help Jansen re-invent himself to have stability and success. Of course, this is why he’s tinkering with a new delivery on the fly.

That said, Roberts has full confidence that Jansen is going to find his way through this latest chapter of angst.

“Certainly throughout the early part of his career, he just overpowered the league and there was some unfamiliarity there. Now you’ve got to continue to evolve,” Roberts said. “It’s tough in the sense of when you’ve been a one-pitch pitcher you’re entire career and you’re still trying to evolve and have comfort in sequencing and keeping hitters honest. But Kenley has done it, he can handle it and he’s going to be just fine.”

In the months to come – we will learn if the manager’s instinct was correct on his closer. Still, one thing remains certain in this situation. The organization, and the man paid to run the team on the field; are staying committed in full confidence to Jansen.

For better or for worse.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

26 Comments

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  1. Roberts is in stubborn denial.
    Even in last night’s 4-0 victory Jansen got hit hard, he got lucky that AZ only got one hit and no runs.
    Unless he changes Jansen will get crushed in October.
    Kelly should be the closer.

    • Jon, prior to last night’s game the Dodger offense managed a total of 7 runs total in the 3 games before Saturday’s game. Once again there was a struggle to make contact and the better LHP in the league still has the Dodger’s number. so if Dodgers get ‘crushed’ in October, it won’t be all on Jansen. It will be because the rest of the staff serves up a ton of HR’s and the Dodgers fail to score with RISP

    • Like our own SD Dodger has said, the Dodgers are open to being versatile at every other spot in many situations in-game. Closer should be no different.

  2. Kelly’s ERA is going down, Jansen’s is going up. If and when they cross would be a good point at which to discuss switching closers.

    • Not even a full switch. Just give Kelly a few opportunities and see what happens. They have so much data available at their disposal. See before a game what hitters each pitcher has more favorable match-up against in the opponent’s lineup. If those guys come up in the 9th, decision made based on data (like how I am sure they do the lineups).

  3. Man would I like to see some passion and fire from our leader. Not that computers are not a joy, but android coach Roberts is just so, so, predictable.

  4. since when has roberts been given a vote of confidence for his decision making…maybe try jansen as a set-up….his abilities have really declined and the team suffers for it as it does with roberts and his “deer in the headlight approach”

    • Didn’t Mariano Rivera re-build himself as a set-up man at one point late in his career? Without looking, I feel like that happened for a period.

  5. Roberts is this way and in spite of the team success he will stay with a guy and lose the series. The entire sports world knows Kenley has lost most of his dominance. Whenever the subject comes up on MLB or ESPN, analysts concur he has lost it and the bulpen is weak.

  6. Roberts doesn’t want to hurt Jansen’s stubborn ego. The fact that Jansen is a liability and probably a deterrent to the Dodgers goals of having the best record and winning the WS is it appears beside the point. Yes his cutter is not breaking and he needs to find a pitch mix. This is not something that is done 2/3rds through the Season!
    Baez listened and has a good pitch mix as does Garcia. Jansen has fought it every step of the way.
    Kelly, Baez and others should be in the mix to close games. Hopefully they bring up Gonzalez from AAA for a shot he is pitching well. Sadler has shown he can pitch well.
    Too bad they resigned Roberts to a long contract he has shown in the playoffs he has no idea how to handle pitchers in pressure situations.

    • Tmaxter, the real issue is as you say, but both Freidman and Roberts can be blamed if another WS is lost because they insist upon handling these daily lineups in exactly the same way as they do in the regular season and we have already seen how that philosophy fails during the WS.

  7. I agree KJS cutter isn’t cutting and his fastball has lost velocity. Both pitches are about the same. The hitters are sitting and waiting knowing what’s coming. Baez and Kelly should be given the opportunity. Maybe, Gonsolin when he comes back up.

  8. Roberts idea of offense is hoping for the long ball. It’s all he knows what to do. Same with his so-called vote of confidence instead of making a change. It’s obvious Jansen has lost more than a step. Cutter doesn’t cut anymore and fastball no longer fast. Even when he saves a game he is still hit hard but Roberts wants to be liked instead of making the right moves. Its all he’s got. If they do get to the WS he will be outmanaged at every turn, AGAIN!!!

    • Ed I agree Roberts has been out-managed in each of the WS losses. And I expect if they get that far he will be out-managed again! The Dodgers win because they are far superior to every other team in the NL. They have the best starting rotation and when even close to healthy the most potent lineups.
      Now is not that time with scrubs like Negron and White playing….
      And why don’t they bring up Lux with Taylor and Kike hurt instead of playing White? Jeez Its as if they do not want to win home field advantage.

  9. I just hope that, in the playoffs, and world series, it doesn’t come down to Jansen having to make the save! Kelly is looking like the one that should get the call. Hopefully by October, the problem will be solved.

  10. I have to leave the room every time Jansen pitches . Homerun Kenley has lost his mojo , and it started before this season . Blown saves in the WS , Let Baez do his thing , or Kelly . Let Kenta give it a shot . Roberts does not know how to manage his pitchers . They will not , I repeat they will not win the WS with this bull pen ..They might not even get to the WS . Then will they fire Roberts ?

    • Stephen, correct in there is a chance they don’t get past the 1st round in the PS. The up side is that Dodgers won’t lose a 3rd WS in a row on their home turf because that is NOT a record any team would really want. In answer to your question on whether Roberts would be fired the answer is no.

    • I do think if he wanted to, he could say ‘all options are on the table’ or something diplomatic like that. Clearly, they do not want to rock this boat or create any type of closer controversy. They’re going down with this ship (Jansen) if it’s going down. For better or worse.

  11. I seem to recall a story whe free e Jansen said he’d welcome someone like Kimbrel but only if he (Jansen) remained the closer. What a team guy and ego. And his ego is not keeping hitters from hitting him hard every time out. Grow a pair Robert’s and make some changes while you can.

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