After another deep run in the postseason that not only saw Kenley Jansen shoulder a heavy load in terms of appearances but also stints in which he went multiple innings, the Los Angeles Dodgers crafted a plan to ease their All-Star closer through Spring Training.
Jansen’s already-modified scheduled was thrown off course when he suffered from hamstring tightness that delayed his Cactus League debut. Jansen wound up throwing just 4.2 innings during the spring and didn’t pitch in back-to-back games until the exhibition Freeway Series.
While the intention was to preserve Jansen for the regular season, the schedule may have inadvertently contributed to his struggles. Velocity was lower than usual for much of the year and his command was shaky.
Driven to already be at his best, Jansen has found further motivation amidst some of the trying times this season, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“Listen, just dealing with failure this year motivated me even more to become better and great. I learned a lot this year, and I’m going to continue to learn.”
Some of his latest issues stemmed from another reoccurrence of an irregular heartbeat that forced Jansen to the 10-day disabled list and required him to take medication. He later revealed it was leading to him lacking adrenaline and feeling his usual self when on the mound.
Jansen temporarily stopped taking the medication but has since resumed, albeit at a lower dosage to avoid the same side effect.
He allowed a solo home run on Monday night but otherwise wrapped up the Dodgers’ win in a series opener at Chase Field. In 12 games since blowing a save to the San Diego Padres on Aug. 25, Jansen is 1-0 with five saves and a 3.09 ERA. His 37 saves this season are second-most in the National League.