Dodgers’ Andrew Friedman still confident in Kenley Jansen despite struggles
Kenley Jansen now looks like one of the shakier options in the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is still confident in his ability to contribute though.
Prior to Monday’s start of the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, Friedman spoke on Jansen’s role moving forward amid his recent struggles.
“Obviously, this has been a popular question, and I totally get it,” he said, per Alden Gonzalez of ESPN. “He is working incredibly hard … There’s some stuff in he delievery that I know [pitching coach] Mark [Prior] and [assistant pitching coach] Connor [McGuinness] are keying on. But to his credit, all he is saying right now is ‘I wanna be a part of helping us win a championship.’
“From [manager] Doc [Dave Roberts] and Mark and [game-planning coach] Danny [Lehmann]’s standpoint in-game, I think there are really good runs for dfferent relievers,” Friedman continued. “Just how to deploy it and win, obviously depends on how certain games play out. But I do expect him to play a big part in helping us win a championship.”
Jansen, the three-time All-Star, seemed to be finding his groove over the last month of play. But Game 2 of the NLDS against the San Diego Padres was a disaster for him. Nursing a 6-3 lead, Jansen gave up two runs and three hits in the ninth before being pulled. The Dodgers would hold on for a 6-5 win.
Suddenly, Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol, and Joe Kelly all look like more reliable back-end relievers for the team. Jansen, who tweaked his approach on the mound a bit this offseason, may now be reserved for lower-leverage situations. Still, it sounds like the team is far from giving up on him.