The Los Angeles Dodgers improved to 2-0 with their win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. Alex Wood made his first start of the spring, striking out two in a scoreless inning of work.
The left-hander was pulled after the first inning in favor of Kenley Jansen, who took the mound for the first time since Game 5 of the 2019 National League Division Series.
Jansen retired all three batters faced, striking out two while demonstrating good velocity on his pitches. He hovered around 92-93 mph during his outing, which represents a significant increase when compared to his first appearance in Spring Training last year.
Looking to avoid the slow start that plagued him in 2019, Jansen will be more aggressive with his throwing program leading up to Opening Day. “Just have to get my work in, man,” he said.
“I know who I am. I’ve got to get better. We all know that. It felt good to be out there again and getting my work in.”
Jansen showed great command of his pitches, which was a focus of his this offseason while working with Driveline Baseball. “I’m definitely happy to see how much freedom I had with letting the ball go,” he said.
“Going in one direction, all those drills they have me doing, it’s paying off. It’s good to see my body and arm is going in the right direction.”
Coming off arguably his worst statistical season as a big leaguer, Jansen believes early success will translate to added confidence going forward. “Of course,” Jansen began.
“Any time you’re going to have a great outing. I don’t care if it’s Spring Training or not. That was a great outing to start off with and keep building on.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was additionally impressed with Jansen’s 2020 Spring Training debut, citing his improved command and velocity. “It was good,” Roberts said.
“You look back a year ago, how the ball was coming out. Today, sitting at 92 (mph), there was a 93 in there. The direction to home plate was really good. It just seems like he’s really synced up with his body. If he can stay there a lot of good things are going to happen.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our live shows, and more!