The goal of every Major League team during Spring Training is not only to prepare their players ready for Opening Day and get a look at prospects but to come out of the six-week camp with everyone healthy.
The Los Angeles Dodgers suffered a bit of a scare recently, as All-Star closer Kenley Jansen was scheduled to pitch in his first Cactus League game of the spring but was scratched from the appearance due to hamstring tightness.
Luckily the injury didn’t end up being a serious one, as Jansen returned to the mound on Monday when he threw an inning in a ‘B’ game, striking out two without allowing a runner to reach base.
After the outing, Jansen said that his hamstring did not cause him any trouble and he plans to pitch in a Cactus League game Thursday when the Dodgers host the Kansas City Royals, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
Kenley Jansen said he felt great, hamstring good. Will pitch in #Dodgers Cactus League game Thursday
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 12, 2018
Spring Training is a lot less important for relievers as it is for starters, as starters need to build up their arm to be ready to pitch five or six innings when the season starters. Relievers, on the other hand, only need to be able to pitch one inning on two consecutive days to be ready for Opening Day.
So despite the minor setback, Jansen is still on pace to be ready for Opening Day as he will get into a couple Cactus League games in the next couple of weeks and then probably one of the Dodgers three preseason exhibition games against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.