Kenley Jansen left a lot to be desired in an uncharacteristic 2019 campaign and according to a recent video from Dodger Insider, he has begun his work to correct his mistakes for the 2020 season.
Kenley Jansen is already back at the field throwing and working out. pic.twitter.com/5aSZKWYNr3
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) October 21, 2019
Jansen, now 32 years old, has an opt-out in his contract in this free agency period, but the expectation is that he will not be opting out of his deal. He will remain with the Dodgers through the 2021 and become a free agency with a likely pay decrease in store for 2020.
Jansen will most likely enter the 2020 season as the Dodgers’ closer if the club does not decide to move in a different direction at the Winter Meetings.
It is good to see Kenley getting his work in, as he will be getting near a full off-season due to the Dodgers’ early exit in the postseason.
He needs it. In 2019, Jansen tossed 63 innings of work, struck out 30.4 percent of batters, and held a 3.71 ERA and 3.51 DRA. 2019 was the first season in Jansen’s career that he had a DRA over 3. For reference, these were his DRA marks from 2014 through 2018: 1.87, 1.97, 1.93, 1.90, and 2.56. He is regressing and it’s not a steady decline. Jansen seemed to almost fall off a cliff at times in terms of performance and the Dodgers are simply not paying him $18 million to blow saves.
There are a plethora of statistics that Jansen did bode well in in 2019 and could point to a better season in 2020. Even through all the home runs and blown saves, Jansen held a 99th percentile hard hit rate and a 98th percentile average exit velocity against him. The underlying stats look good for him. Actually, they are not just good, they are elite.
The Dodgers need Jansen to return to his old form, but that might be an uphill battle at age 32. Regardless, let’s hope and pray that Jansen defies the odds.