Jansen struck out the first two batters he faced on six pitches and came one strike away from pitching an immaculate inning, getting Elias Díaz to ground out to first base to end the fourth.
“He was sharp,” Roberts said. “I thought the life of the ball [was good], he mixed in some two-seamers, he mixed in a breaking ball for a strike, the cut fastball was good. Nine pitches, very efficient."
Jansen was solid last year, but control and velocity issues plagued him towards the end of the season, resulting in the Dodgers leaning on other options to close out games, including Blake Treinen and Julio Urías. So far this spring, however, Roberts has made it clear that Jansen would start the season as the team’s closer.
A couple more performances like Monday's and Jansen could erase any doubts.
“I think his body is in a good spot,” Roberts said. “It’s firing the right way. Then you get into his delivery and I think he’s repeating, which speaks to the consistency of the throw and his command. For me, I don’t think he’s looked any better.”
After hitting .392 at Triple-A in 2019, Gavin Lux has struggled to find consistency in the Majors. But the former top prospect could start the season as the team’s everyday second baseman, which should result in consistent at-bats for the first time at the big league level.
“He had a really good winter and the start [of spring] has been really good,” Roberts said. “All he’s known is consistent playing time and consistent work, and there’s a lot of things going on with his swing as far as timing. The more consistent he plays, it bodes better for him in the batter’s box.”
In his first Cactus League game this spring, Lux responded with a 2-for-3 effort. He hit atop of the lineup and jumped on the first fastball he saw from Rockies right-hander Dereck Rodríguez in the first inning, then delivered an RBI single in the fourth. Chris Taylor and Zach McKinstry will all get playing time at second this spring, but Lux appears to have the inside track at the job, especially if he has a strong performance in camp.
Peters has started at center field in each of the first two games this spring. Cody Bellinger, the team’s starting center fielder, isn’t expected to play in Spring Training games until at least March 15 as he recovers from offseason right shoulder surgery.
“Nobody works harder, nobody cares more,” Roberts said of Peters. “Good to see him hit a breaking ball. He got a good piece of it.”
Peters also made an impression with a great diving catch to rob Eric Stamets of a hit in the third inning.
In addition to Jansen, Trevor Bauer, Tony Gonsolin, Treinen and Victor González also pitched for the Dodgers on Monday. Bauer threw 28 pitches and struck out two in two scoreless innings. Gonsolin followed with a scoreless inning. Through two games (13 total innings), the Dodgers have allowed just one unearned run.
• Chris Taylor was scheduled to play on Monday, but the utilityman woke up with a stiff neck, according to Roberts, and will be off the next few days. The Dodgers are hoping Taylor is back in the lineup on Wednesday.
• The Dodgers hired former big league pitcher Dontrelle Willis as a special assistant to the general manager in the player development department. The two-time All-Star shared a photo of his Dodgers uniform on Twitter.
• Walker Buehler is scheduled to get the start for the Dodgers against the Giants on Tuesday. Buehler is tentatively scheduled to pitch two innings in his first appearance of the spring.