Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Not Considering Removing Kenley Jansen From Closer Role
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Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen entered the regular season looking to build off a 2017 campaign that was filled with personal-bests and accolades, including another All-Star appearance and fifth-place finish in National League Cy Young voting.

So far, that hasn’t been the case, as Jansen has uncharacteristically struggled out of the gate. Through seven games, the all-time Dodgers saves leader owns an 8.10 ERA, 8.24 FIP and 1.65 WHIP over 6.2 innings with seven strikeouts to three walks.

Jansen has allowed three home runs in the early going after yielding just five last season. Furthermore, the right-hander has already accounted for two blown saves after being tabbed with only one in 2017.

Despite a rough start to his season, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained he isn’t considering removing Jansen from the closer role at this time, via SportsNet LA:

“I think we’re a ways from that. I think that he’s earned that. Sometimes, with his track record, guys like that, you’ve got to let them work through it. And it is a little more difficult when you’re talking about the closer. Regardless of where the role is at, for anyone in relief, those innings matter. Whether it’s the sixth, seventh, eighth or ninth, they’re really important innings. It’s not a mental thing as far as Kenley. It’s just going out there as executing. [Moving him] is not even on my mind right now. He and Honey, they’re looking at things and trying to do a deep dive.”

After blowing a save in his most recent outing against the San Diego Padres, Roberts conceded that Jansen hasn’t been on top of his game thus far.

Some have speculated that the 30-year-old isn’t pitching at full health, considering his noticeable velocity decline when compared to last season. Though, Jansen has downplayed those concerns and insists he’s healthy.

A silver lining from his latest appearance at Petco Park offers optimism that Jansen’s cutter velocity may be returning to normal figures, as it frequently touched 93 mph in the contest. Moreover, Jansen said his troubles were again related to mechanical issues that he was aware of.