June 25, 2021

Dodgers may need to get Kenley Jansen some help (True Blue LA)

Not to bring up painful memories, but part of the reason Dave Roberts brought in Clayton Kershaw to pitch to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto in the eighth inning of Game 5 of the NLDS and opted to try to get two innings out of Joe Kelly was because he didn’t have enough trust in Kenley Jansen. Roberts would never flat-out admit that, but it’s pretty clear that was the case.

This presents a problem for the Dodgers going forward. Jansen very clearly isn’t the pitcher he once was. He’s still solid, but he’s not the lights-out closer we’ve been used to. And he’s here for at least two more seasons after opting into the final two years and $38 million of the five-year deal he signed after the 2016 season. With no clear heir apparent in the organization and the Dodgers still having World Series hopes, they might need to bring in either a replacement for him or, more likely, something of a “co-closer.”

Pedro Baez isn’t that guy. Kelly certainly isn’t that guy. There are prospects/youngsters who have talent and ability (Tony Gonsolin, Dennis Santana), but no one is ready for that role just yet. Odds are, any kind of co-closer is going to have to come from outside…

Read “Dodgers may need to get Kenley Jansen some help” at True Blue LA