More than halfway through their Cactus League schedule, the Los Angeles Dodgers expected to see Kenley Jansen on the mound for the first time in Friday’s game against the Kansas City Royals.
Up to this point, Jansen has only seen work in bullpen sessions and a simulated game against Minor League hitters. He and the Dodgers are mindful of the career-high 85 innings Jansen logged last season, and remaining fresh this year.
As the innings went by Friday, Jansen didn’t get into the game, and eventually, in the eighth inning, it was announced that he would not pitch.
The reason for that was revealed after the game, as in an interview with David Vassegh on SportsNet LA, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that he was scratched due to hamstring tightness that Jansen felt before the game, although it is not expected to be a serious injury:
“He was doing some pregame stuff, getting ready, doing some running and the back of his, kind of the upper hamstring, kind of tightened up on him. So he did some dry work to see if he felt it and if it makes sense for him to go out there and take the mound. He felt it, so for us, we shut him down and we’ll get him back in there probably in a “B” game next week (Monday). And he’ll get back in an “A” game Thursday.”
Missing Friday’s game does not set Jansen back at all, as he was already only scheduled to pitch in two Cactus League games this spring.
With around three weeks until Opening Day, there is still plenty of time for Jansen to be ready, so as Roberts noted, there was no reason to push through the minor injury.
The Dodgers pitching staff still got the job done without Jansen, as they beat the Royals 6-4 as Kenta Maeda tossed three innings in his third spring start.