The Los Angeles Dodgers are less than two weeks from taking the field for Opening Day of the 2020 regular season, but they still face plenty of notable questions with respect to their player pool as Summer Camp continues to progress.
Tony Gonsolin reported to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, though Scott Alexander, Pedro Baez, Kenley Jansen, Gavin Lux, AJ Pollock and Keibert Ruiz remain absent. With the exception of Ruiz, each was projected to play a significant role for the Dodgers this season.
Manager Dave Roberts has not revealed the reason behind any of the players being out of camp. That remained the case even with Gonsolin now in uniform. “I think that’s a better question for him,” answered Roberts when asked if he could disclose what caused the delay.
“I know I’m excited to get him back, he’s in great shape and hopefully we’ll get him into a game soon.”
Roberts has maintained all the of players would make their way to Dodger Stadium in the near future. He reiterated that stance and also offered some semblance of an update on Jansen. “I talked to Kenley, and he’s in really good spirits and feeling good,” Roberts said.
“I expect to see him soon. He’s been moving around, so I think he’ll be ready.”
Roberts’ comments came one day after he dismissed speculation that Jansen hadn’t reported because of his intention to opt out of the 2020 season.
In multiple interviews during MLB’s shut down, Jansen voiced confidence prior heart surgeries would not prevent him from playing this season, and also said he continued throwing throughout the layoff. Jansen was among a small group of players who regularly worked out at Dodger Stadium.
Being that most of his appearances wouldn’t extend past one inning, Jansen would not be impacted by the calendar as a starter or long reliever would. He is, however, missing out on opportunities to face batters during intrasquad games.
Dodgers not yet considering options to replace Jansen
The longer Jansen’s absence continues, the Dodgers could be faced with a scenario where a temporary closer is needed. “I think we have some viable candidates, but I haven’t entertained that,” Roberts said.
“Kenley is our guy and I expect him to be back. But if it doesn’t happen for some unforeseen reason, then we can certainly adjust.”
Roberts declined to reveal which player(s) the Dodgers may turn to if facing a void. “Too soon,” he said.
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