Dodgers News: Ready For World Baseball Classic, Kenley Jansen Calls Spring Training ‘A Joke’
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As the month of March continues on, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the rest of Major League Baseball press ahead with their preparation for 2017 Opening Day. This spring not only signaled the return of baseball, but also the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Adrian Gonzalez, Kiké Hernandez, Sergio Romo, Rob Segedin and Alex Verdugo were among the Dodgers who departed Camelback Ranch to represent their respective countries in the international tournament. Kenley Jansen could have followed suit, but elected to remain with the Dodgers.

That was until Netherlands played their way out of the first two rounds and into a WBC semifinal matchup at Dodger Stadium. Jansen was included on Netherlands’ designated pitcher pool when rosters were announced, which made him eligible to be activated once the country advanced.

Shortly after revealing he’d decided to join Team Netherlands for the WBC championship round, Jansen denounced the lackluster environment that comes with pitching in Cactus League games, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:

“Spring training is a joke sometimes,” Jansen said. “Your adrenaline is not there. You’re pitching just to pitch sometimes. Once you get that adrenaline, that definitely will help. Especially playing for your country.”

Even the more unexciting WBC games provide a much different atmosphere than what’s seen during Spring Training, along completely different mindsets. As a player who already has his roster spot established, the spring is more about establishing a rhythm heading into the regular season.

Jansen’s performance with the Dodgers this spring certainly align with his remarks. Including Friday’s relief appearance, he’s pitched to an 8.10 ERA in four games, allowing one run in each of his first three appearances.

While he managed to snap that streak against the Seattle Mariners, the power right-hander allowed a pair of base hits, issued one walk, and was removed with the bases loaded. Jansen did record a two strikeouts prior to exiting.

It’s possible Jansen will face Dodgers teammate Kiké Hernandez in Monday’s semifinal matchup against Puerto Rico. They held off a United States rally on Friday night to secure their spot in the final four at Dodger Stadium.

Jansen and his Netherlands team or Hernandez and Puerto Rico will face the winner of the matchup between Japan and the Pool F runner-up in the 2017 WBC final on Wednesday.