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Jansen, Buehler impress in throwing sessions

Star closer, top prospect on slower timetable this spring
MLB.com @kengurnick

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Kenley Jansen fought off a mild case of the illness that has swept through the Dodgers' clubhouse to throw a 25-pitch simulated game on Thursday before the team's 8-7 loss to the Indians.

"It didn't hit me hard, but I felt it a little bit," said Jansen, who had body aches, the chills and the sweats, changing clothes four times during the night. "Other than that," he said, "I feel great. I didn't want to stay home. Didn't want to miss this one."

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Kenley Jansen fought off a mild case of the illness that has swept through the Dodgers' clubhouse to throw a 25-pitch simulated game on Thursday before the team's 8-7 loss to the Indians.

"It didn't hit me hard, but I felt it a little bit," said Jansen, who had body aches, the chills and the sweats, changing clothes four times during the night. "Other than that," he said, "I feel great. I didn't want to stay home. Didn't want to miss this one."

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Throwing on the Minor League side, Jansen stopped midway through to make a mechanical adjustment at the suggestion of pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.

"The ball was coming out great. [I had] a few things I have to do to make my arm catch up with my lower body," Jansen said. "I wasn't doing it in the beginning, then when I was, the ball took off. Every year I have that. I don't worry or stress about that anymore. Being a big guy, I have to make sure everything gets back to where it used to be.

"Day by day, [I'm] getting ready for Opening Day."

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Jansen, on a drastically reduced spring workload following a demanding 2017, said he expects to make his Cactus League debut March 9.

No day off for Buehler: Right-hander Walker Buehler, the Dodgers' top prospect, had coaches raving about his Wednesday bullpen session in terms of efficiency and adjustments.

"Trying to be more methodical, planning what I want to do and getting it done," Buehler said. "Yesterday was a good one. Starting to feel more and more like myself. Just getting used to being back on the slope. My back's feeling better, and I'm getting there."

Buehler, on a slowed spring timetable after suffering minor back soreness in January, said he will probably throw another bullpen session before throwing live batting practice and then a game.

"The back has something to do with rotation and spinning," said Buehler. "When you're throwing as hard as we do, it takes a toll on your body sometimes, and you've got to take a little break. That's what we did, and luckily we've got time."

Video: Gurnick discusses Buehler's status with Dodgers

Nice trade: A scoreless inning with two strikeouts on Thursday was just what the Dodgers expected from lefty reliever Scott Alexander, but a three-run homer from Jake Peter, the other player acquired in the three-team, five-player trade that sent Trevor Oaks to Kansas City and Luis Avilan to Chicago, was a bonus. Peter, who went 2-for-3 on Thursday, is a multi-position non-roster invitee making a solid impression by taking advantage of early opportunities.

"With this sickness going around, some guys are playing a little more, and I'm just trying to play my game and have fun," said the 24-year-old Peter. "The biggest thing for me is to learn from these great players. This is my first big league camp, and I'm trying to soak it all in."

Video: Dodgers add to infield depth in three-team deal

Peter said he's a natural second baseman, but said he's learning to like third base and has some outfield experience.

Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson and Alex Verdugo also had hits in Thursday's game, and young catcher Keibert Ruiz was 3-for-3.

Up next: Clayton Kershaw makes his second spring start at Camelback Ranch as the visiting pitcher against the host White Sox on Friday. Game time is 12:05 p.m. PT, and the game can be viewed on MLB.TV.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Walker Buehler, Kenley Jansen