LA aims to keep Jansen in top form down stretch

August 25th, 2019

LOS ANGELES – For the first time in too long on Saturday, looked like a three-time All-Star. Now the Dodgers hope to find a formula to keep him that way.

Jansen’s velocity was up and his command was on point as he worked around a wild jam to lock down a save in Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Yankees at Dodger Stadium.

What made the difference on Saturday?

“Emotion. Adrenaline,” manager Dave Roberts speculated on Sunday. “That’s one of those things where, looking out from yesterday going forward, how we’re managing Kenley with regularity but not overuse, that should be the intensity he has every time he steps on the field.”

Simply put, Jansen has indicated lately that he’s been thinking too much and needs to go back to having fun, playing the game the way he did as a Little Leaguer and shutting out the noise (and occasional boos) that inevitably comes when a closer struggles.

So Roberts has a plan for getting Jansen back into form and keeping him there until October, when the plan will change.

“In the postseason, you’re extended more,” Roberts said. “For him to have the capacity to let it rip and have the 94, 95 [mph] when he pitches, should be there every time out. And the movement played up. It was, for me, a good day all around for Kenley.”

Worth noting

Reliever Josh Sborz was called in from Triple-A Oklahoma City and was in the Dodgers' clubhouse on Sunday. He was not activated and was on the taxi list as coverage for reliever Casey Sadler, who reported back issues after pitching on Friday night. Roberts, however, said Sadler reported improvement and he remained active.