Spring training can be a time for unbridled optimism or neurotic pessimism. The Kenley Jansen hamstring injury plays into the latter factor.
An unheralded youngster who exceeds expectations can surely become the next franchise cornerstone, while simultaneously any injury or setback can bring with it the potential to unravel a once-promising season.
We espouse any narrative unfolding before us as we anxiously await another eventful regular season in which a championship is possible. Emotions run high during this time of year.
Jansen has an injury situation that is worth monitoring. The elite closer was scratched from Friday’s game in what would have been his debut appearance of big league spring training.
Kenley Jansen tweaked his hamstring. That’s why he didn’t pitch.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) March 9, 2018
His upper right hamstring tightened up on him as he was doing his pregame warmups, and the coaching staff held him out of the game as a precaution.
The plan appears to be for Jansen to pitch in a minor league game on Monday and to pitch in a big league game on Thursday. What has been a bit alarming is the work he has put in this Spring. Thus far, we really only know that Jansen appeared in a B game somewhere on one of the back fields. And it was reported that he looked a bit rusty.
And that’s to be expected this time of year, that’s what spring training is for after all. Hopefully this soreness doesn’t set back his “shaking off the rust” portion of Spring.
It doesn’t sound like something overly serious, but any type of injury with such a crucial player is potentially worrisome.
Jansen has been an All-Star each of the past two seasons and has earned at least 35 saves in each of the past four seasons.
Jansen has made at least 50 appearances and pitched at least 50 innings in each of his seven full seasons.
Durability has never been a major concern, but he does have some prior injury history. He missed the first month and a half of the 2015 season after undergoing left foot surgery. He also missed some time in 2011 and 2012 with an irregular heartbeat.
Obviously, this recent injury is unrelated to his previous ones. But it’s best that the Dodgers proceed with caution regardless.
Jansen is a huge reason why this team has been so successful. Their goal should simply be to have him as healthy as possible for the start of the regular season.
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