As the Los Angeles Dodgers enter their second week of the regular season, the team is still without their closer Kenley Jansen.
The Dodgers have mixed and matched their relievers in the later innings, with Chris Hatcher, Joel Peralta and J.P. Howell all being in to finish a game. However, Jansen is progressing in his throwing program and looks to come back within the next few weeks.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group, Jasen will soon begin throwing off of a mound:
Kenley Jansen will begin throwing off a mound Saturday.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) April 15, 2015
Jansen underwent foot surgery on Feb. 17 to remove a growth on his left foot to avoid further injury.
In his absence, the bullpen has attempted to compensate for the closer but have not posted the most stellar numbers. In eight games thus far, the bullpen as a whole have been quite busy, having a decision in five games. They are a combined 3-2 with a 3.24 ERA (17th best in the MLB).
While the bullpen has allowed nine runs, Chris Hatcher is responsible for five in just 2.2 innings. Hatcher came in as the closer on Opening Day and allowed only one baserunner, but has since been unreliable.
Peralta has allowed just two hits and zero runs in 4.1 innings thus far, and has been exactly what the Dodgers expected after acquiring him from the Tampa Bay Rays.
However, although Peralta has opened some eyes, the Dodgers will still need Jansen in their bullpen. The right hander was lights out after changing his delivery last season in June, allowing only five runs for the rest of the season. He has been an integral part of the Dodgers bullpen through the last few seasons.
Since taking over the closer role in 2012, Jansen has recorded 97 saves. If he can repeat the way he pitched in the second half of the 2014 season, the right hander will make a huge impact on the bullpen upon his return.
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