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Jansen calls Kemp, Puig 'brothers for life'

Dodgers closer praises 'totally different clubhouse'; bullpen sessions underway
MLB.com @kengurnick

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Closer Kenley Jansen moved his spring locker from the cozy relievers' corner across the clubhouse to a spot between outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, and he's not there to break up any fights.

"Brothers for life," said Jansen.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Closer Kenley Jansen moved his spring locker from the cozy relievers' corner across the clubhouse to a spot between outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, and he's not there to break up any fights.

"Brothers for life," said Jansen.

"It's good to be back around here, this is an exciting moment. And let me tell you, just to see Matt and Puig talking makes me happy today. I love having them. I'm excited they're on our team and hopefully Matt stays on our team because I know, watching him when I first got called up, seeing how he put the team on his back, that's a bat we can have to help take us where we want to go."

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Whatever friction existed when Kemp was dealt to San Diego three years ago seems smoothed over.

"It's a totally different clubhouse now," said Jansen. "Give credit to Andrew [Friedman], Farhan [Zaidi], Stan Kasten and Doc [Dave Roberts]. Doc's been the mentor for us, and it's changed the whole culture and everybody's like family. We fight together and win together."

Wednesday's first round of bullpen sessions included starters Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu, as well as Jansen and new relievers Scott Alexander and Tom Koehler.

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Also back in action was Yimi Garcia, who has team officials excited now that he's fully healed from Tommy John elbow reconstruction.

Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda and Walker Buehler are among those expected to throw bullpen sessions on Thursday.

Although Koehler has 133 Major League starts, the Dodgers signed him for relief and Roberts said that's where they want him. Koehler enjoyed a revival as a reliever after an August trade from Miami to Toronto.

"There was an uptick in velocity, which you see from a lot of guys that to go to the 'pen," said Roberts. "He used the breaking ball more out of the 'pen. A lot of characteristics we are excited about. Right now, he has that mentality of out of the 'pen."

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Kenley Jansen