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Jansen unavailable Wednesday, but IL unlikely

Roberts discusses postgame remarks with closer after 4th blown save
@paul_casella
July 17, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- Kenley Jansen was not available for Wednesday's game against the Phillies after taking a comebacker off his right ankle in the ninth inning one night earlier. The right-hander had a significant limp in the clubhouse following Tuesday's 9-8 walk-off loss at Citizens Bank Park, but he said his

PHILADELPHIA -- Kenley Jansen was not available for Wednesday's game against the Phillies after taking a comebacker off his right ankle in the ninth inning one night earlier.

The right-hander had a significant limp in the clubhouse following Tuesday's 9-8 walk-off loss at Citizens Bank Park, but he said his right ankle was feeling "better" prior to Wednesday's game. Manager Dave Roberts said he could foresee either Julio Urias or Joe Kelly getting the ball if a save situation arose Wednesday.

As for the long-term outlook, Jansen had his ankle taped and was getting treatment prior to Wednesday's game, but Roberts said he's confident the closer will avoid going on the injured list after tests on the ankle all came back negative.

"I don’t think so," Roberts said of a possible IL stint. "In talking to him, he was moving around much better today. It’s muscular, it’s not like the scans showed anything. So he’ll be fine."

Jansen said after Tuesday's game that the ankle went "numb" after he was struck by a 98 mph comebacker off the bat of Phillies outfielder Adam Haseley. Jansen immediately waved off Roberts and the training staff, then reaffirmed that he was OK when Roberts came out to check on him three batters later. Following the game, Jansen said he "shouldn't have kept pitching."

Roberts said he addressed those comments with his veteran closer.

"I think I do a very good job of being honest with our guys," Roberts said. "We’re all trying to win, we’re all trying to compete -- that goes without saying. But when you give certainty that you’re not compromising yourself for the team, I’m going to trust it. So to then go back and say, ‘I should have come out of the game,’ it’s a little bit tough to swallow."

Roberts insisted that neither those postgame comments nor the right-hander's recent performance have diminished his confidence in Jansen going forward. Tuesday's performance marked Jansen's fourth blown save of the season, matching his total from all of last year.

He has a 3.26 ERA since the start of 2018, after posting a 1.32 ERA over 68 1/3 innings in his stellar '17 campaign. Jansen has allowed multiple earned runs in nine appearances over the last two seasons after doing so just twice in '17.

"When we give him the baseball, I expect the game to be over," Roberts said. "Obviously, the results aren’t what they were in ’17, but you can say that about a lot of players. I think it’s one of those things that he’s just got to continue to make pitches. He’s the best we have, and I still have full confidence when we give him the baseball."

Paul Casella is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.