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Friday, February 15, 2019

Kenley Jansen declares ‘I’m good now’ after solid outing

Kenley Jansen

Kenley Jansen is working to regain the form that has made him one of the best closers in baseball for the past several seasons, and his performance on Saturday night indicated he may be on his way to doing just that.

Jansen came on in a non-save situation in the ninth inning of an eventual 4-0 win over the Washington Nationals, and he allowed no hits and one walk. More importantly, the right-hander hit 96 mph on the radar gun after previously hovering in the low 90s.

“I’m good now,” Jansen told reporters after the game, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. “Maybe the season starts for me. Seriously, I just continue and focus and stay on it. This game teaches you, sometimes you can get in bad habits so quick. I never stop believing in myself, no matter the outcome.”

The solid inning lowered Jansen’s ERA to 7.04 on the season. He has already blown two saves after blowing just one all of last season, and it seems like the Dodgers’ plan to limit his reps in spring training to preserve him for the long haul may have backfired.

Despite the struggles early on, manager Dave Roberts has stuck with the 30-year-old. Roberts has been dismissive of Jansen’s velocity issues and touched on what he believed could be the issue, so perhaps the problem has been fixed. Another strong performance with fastballs in the mid to upper 90s would do wonders for Jansen’s confidence.

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