Is there really any reason for Dodgers’ concern over Kenley Jansen?

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen delivers a pitch during a win over the Minnesota Twins on May 1. Jansen struggled in the team's loss to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.
(Hannah Foslien / Getty Images)

Getting a little nervous about Kenley Jansen?

Worried he’s not pushing the radar gun close to 100 mph? That his 0-2 record, 4.58 ERA and 1.70 WHIP are less than pedestrian? That just maybe he’s actually hurt and no one is admitting it?

“I think Kenley is fine physically,” said Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly.

Jansen, too, claimed there was no physical problem.


“Nothing,” Jansen said. “I’m good.”

Except, of course, he wasn’t Sunday, coming into a 4-4 game in the 10th against the Giants, getting only one of his six batters out and being charged with three runs in the Dodgers’ 7-4 defeat.

Yet if you think Jansen has been some kind of mini-disaster this season, it’s either because the disappointing days stand out, or you have been unable to watch games on TV.

Going into Sunday, in his previous nine games, Jansen actually had six saves in as many opportunities, with a 1.08 ERA and a .172 opponent batting average.

“He’s been throwing the ball good,” Mattingly said. “This kind of came out of the blue for me.”

Still, his velocity was approaching 93 mph Sunday and not the 98 mph he can hit when he’s really dominating. Jansen shrugged and said he was fine and wasn’t to over think it.

“You can’t get messed up, you can’t think too much,” he said. “This is not my first time going through this. I’m going to get myself out of it.

“I’m not going to panic, I’m just going to go out there and just keep competing. I know who I am and what kind of stuff I have.”


There was a stretch in April where Jansen had appeared in 12 of 16 games and the concern was he might be overworked. But Mattingly has backed off since. Sunday was Jansen’s fourth game this month.

“It just wasn’t there today,” he said. “It’s already over.”