While this is not the first time Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has given Kenley Jansen a vote of confidence, it is merely the latest. At the beginning of August, Roberts declared that Jansen would ‘be fine’. Now, time has passed and Jansen has not emerged fine.
Furthermore, Jansen blew his seventh save of the 2019 season on Wednesday night. Before Thursday night’s contest in Arizona against the Diamondbacks, Roberts had more to say about his beleaguered closer. Bill Plunkett took to twitter with these remarks from the skipper.
#Dodgers Dave Roberts on Kenley Jansen after 7th blown save last night: "I don't think we're going to back off on the workload. We're going to keep running him out there. … We're going to need him. We're counting on him."
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 30, 2019
To say the least – if Roberts is outwardly concerned – he has a good poker face to the public. Therefore, he says the Dodgers are riding the man with 295 career regular season saves. In fact, while on the subject of poker; the team is ‘doubling down’ on their closer.
Roberts echoed this sentiment with a very convincing quote to Plunkett.
“I don’t think we’re going to back off on the workload. We’re going to keep running him [Jansen] out there. We’re going to need him, we’re counting on him.”
This is not a drill.
The Dodgers manager has been given the opportunity to experiment with the back-end of the bullpen. Equally important, it was bantered about in the recent past. However, it seems like giving all the confidence that can be given to Jansen in the form of quotes and big spots in a ballgame have trumped the alternative.
Finally, the 2019 Dodgers are going to go as far as Jansen can take them. Right now, it feels like no lead is safe; and these are not the high-stress pressure spots that the month of October brings. It is then that every situation is rigged with a little more tension.
Of course, the best news is that time remains on the clock. Both to give Jansen another opportunity to be ‘run out there’ as Roberts states, and to fix the issues that are causing a sudden lapse in success.