Dodgers News: After Blown Save To Padres, Dave Roberts Concedes Kenley Jansen Is ‘Not Right’
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Of all the inconsistencies and struggles the Los Angeles Dodgers have battled thus far, the most troubling has been Kenley Jansen. Whether due to velocity or mechanics, the normally-dependable closer has not looked his usual self.

Jansen’s latest stumble came in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game against the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers held a 3-1 lead, with Jansen due to face Eric Hosmer, Christian Villanueva and Franchy Cordero.

Jansen’s second pitch of the inning — a 90 mph cutter that leaked over the plate — was crushed by Hosmer for a home run. Two batters later, Villanueva sent Chris Taylor to the wall in center field, with his leaping catch preventing the Padres from tying the game.

That came later, however, as Cordero walked, stole second base, and took third on a balk. He scored on Chase Headley’s pinch-hit double.

The blown save was Jansen’s second in seven games; he had just one, compared to 41 saves in 65 appearances last season. After the Dodgers managed to claw out an extra-innings victory, manager Dave Roberts described some of the trouble Jansen is having but restated his confidence in him, as seen on SportsNet LA

“The velocity was good but the characteristics of his cutter just weren’t doing what it typically does. There were some good throws there with the cut, but there were some other ones that were straight as a string. The one to Hosmer, the one to Villanueva. I actually thought the one to Headley, Chase put a good at-bat on him. [Kenley] got it where he wanted to, it was just fisted into right field. … Right now, he’s not right as far as the way the ball is coming out of the hand. I know early there was talk about velocity, but even more than that is the characteristic of his pitch. But we have all the confidence in Kenley. It’s one of those things people go through, and he’s got to work his way out of it.”

When Jansen initially struggled out of the gate, the first thought was he was dealing with an injury. But Jansen and Roberts have both dismissed the possibility. There was also some belief a light workload during Spring Training prevented Jansen from being as sharp as he’d liked.

And though his velocity has fluctuated, Jansen’s biggest hurdle has been more mechanical. It’s come with unexpected results but the Dodgers can at least find some comfort in knowing Jansen is a tweak or two away from reverting back to his dominant form.