Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Dave Roberts Talks Kenley Jansen’s Rocky Outing

On Tuesday, a familiar feeling of unrest hit Dodgers fans. Even if it was really for the first time this season, closer Kenley Jansen struggled to record the final outs of a ballgame once again. And with that came the panic.

This week on “Off Air with Joe and Orel” — the podcast hosted by the Dodgers’ broadcast team — Dave Roberts shared his thoughts on what went wrong for Kenley in that outing.

“I noticed that the cutter wasn’t what it has been the last few outings, that’s one thing. He was throwing a few more 2-seamers, which I did like, but he just couldn’t find that lane. … It’s something he’s been working on, but I do think that the body of work this year — I think that Kenley’s gonna be fine.”

Again, it needs to be noted that this was Jansen’s first real struggle of the 2020 season. Moreover, it was also the first time he had been asked to record more than 3 outs in nearly a year. Giving Kenley a pass is more than fair considering he’s coming off of being named the National League Reliever of the Month for a stretch that saw him allow only 2 earned runs over 14.2 innings pitched.

Pitchers are almost always due for a stinker or two over a season, even those with the track record of the Dodgers’ all-time saves leader. So, really, it’s not time to sound the alarms on Kenley just yet.

“When you have high expectations of a player, said Roberts, “that’s kind of what you made yourself into. But certainly, for us — if we’re going to win it all, we’re gonna need Kenley to be right.”

That much is an undeniable fact. Ideally for the Dodgers and Jansen, Roberts ensures that he’s put into positions to succeed… like, not being brought in for 4+ out saves.

NEXT: What’s Wrong with Cody Bellinger?

Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor and manager of, and a host and analyst on DN's Blue Heaven podcast live stream. Since joining Dodgers Nation, Clint has helped grow the site into a top-50 baseball website in the world. He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future. He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.


  1. Typical Roberts BS. Father Time has caught up with Jensen. As I quote from the movie “The Natural”: “Jimmy, I’ve been a scout for a long time, and the number one rule is, arms slow down when the get old”. Jensen cutter down to 90-91 from 95 few years ago. Time to put a fork in him and move on

    1. All true. There are very few pitchers who have defied the downward velocity trend but they are few and far between. Kershaw is doing it this year. DeGrom has made a career out of it. But Jansen’s decline has been a steady decline over at least 4 years. Equally problematic is the decreased movement on the cutter. I don’t want come down on Jansen too hard. He was a great shutdown closer. But time marches on and this bullpen is loaded. I appreciate what Jansen has done in the past, but it’s time to move on.

      1. This is not the first time Jansen has struggled this year. You havent been watching Client. Even Roberts acknowledged that Jansen hasnt been throwing well over the last few outings. Had it not been for dodgers having multiple run leads Jansen would have more blown saves. From this point forward Roberts needs to have a short leash on Jansen because here comes San Diego and theres not that many games left.

  2. I’m not giving up on Jensen. I know he still has it but I’m not sure he’s still practicing all his pitches and if he is and he doesn’t think something isn’t working he should tell the coach in the bullpen. Every player has his part and he has to speak up when something isn’t right with themselves or even when they notice someone else having problems.

  3. We seriously want to put the WS title on his shoulders AGAIN? How ridiculous is that? Dave Roberts needs to sign a contract that he’ll give us back his salary for these last 3 years if Jansen blows it big time in the playoffs!

  4. Jansen will never admit anything I have been saying for 3 Years he is not a closer any longer ,should only be used for batting practice , Hey , he had a good run now it’s over REALITY and DAVE ROBERTS should not deny it any longer ,Jansen does not have it , I don’t care how hard he works ,think of the other players on the team !!!!! They have , as I oftened said, do not have the confidence in him any longer and surely that the game is not over with him coming in to try and save it . DAVE ROBERTS keep being his friend ,let him pitch , meanwhile let your bullpen go unused for a different closer who could by far do a better job ,your letting the team down ” BIG TIME ” you cannot depend on him coming in ,oh yeah ! Forget the fans also.

  5. Just watched Jenson’s melt down tonight against the Astros. How can Roberts stand by and watch the debacle. Roberts would never allow any other reliever to fail this badly. DR needs to do a better job of managing his players.If someone is not up the job they should not be playing…Jenson, Bellinger, Lux.

  6. Jansen needs to earn the closer role….the reliable closer keeps runners on base from scoring…..Jansen has put the batters he faces on base and they score.
    Nice guys finish last! The Dodgers are currently without a stopper (never mind
    putting winning runs on base). C’mon Doc take charge!!!

  7. It’s not Jansen who is the problem, we already know that he is past his prime and the good ole days. The problem is that Roberts doesn’t recognize that Jansen is done and for the life of me has NO BLEEP’N CLUE when to pull pitchers. The inning could have been salvaged but Roberts like Mattingly is clueless!!!. This Dodger team wins off of the talent that it has not off of the coaching. It’s like the Cowboys of the 90’s with Barry Switzer.

  8. I wanted to reach through the screen and strangle Roberts. It is not often that a relief pitcher gets hammered like that. It was like batting practice and he just watched it, Roberts’ ass should have been fired before the game was over. Make Mookie the player manager for the rest of the year.

  9. Agreed. Jansen blew a lead the other day. The runner starting on second didn’t count against his ERA. The Dodgers won it in the bottom half of the inning. He got the win, for blowing the lead. His ERA went down, he went to 3-0. Statistics aren’t everything. The writer says this is his first bad outing of 2020. He hasn’t been watching the games. Jansen has been bad for 3 years! I might be medical, it might be mechanical, but, he is nowhere near the same pitcher. Giving up a big hit to Reddick, of all people, who every other Dodger pitcher has owned, is inexcusable. He better get it straightened out fast!

  10. I’m stunned that Roberts left Jansen in there – when he obviously didn’t have it – until the lead was gone. This wasn’t inheriting runners and giving up a bomb to blow a lead which sucks but happens, this was excruciatingly slowly watching 6 straight batters wipe out a 3-run lead and then move ahead without recording an out before a pitching change. I assure all of you who believe Friedman pulls the strings on in-game decisions he had nothing to do with this; it’s all Roberts and, frankly, unbelievable.

  11. Jansen’s stats last 3 years and previous 3 years.
    Kenley Jansen Stats
    2015 2.41 154.00 2.14 0.78 10.00
    2016 1.83 219.00 1.44 0.67 9.45
    2017 1.32 315.00 1.31 0.75 15.57
    Average 1.85 229.33 1.63 0.73 11.67

    2018 3.01 129.00 4.03 0.99 4.82
    2019 3.71 112.00 3.48 1.06 5.00
    2020 3.93 111.00 3.69 1.26 3.13
    Average 3.55 117.33 3.73 1.10 4.32

  12. The last few years have been built up and the Dodgers have been getting more “complete” at almost every position. The most constant and increasingly position has been the closer role. Possibly THE most important role in pitching, as much as a quality starter. A team simply can not succeed at a championship level without that guy that can slam the door shut against the opponent in a close game. Kenley WAS that guy for years. Great run, no doubt….however, this is not a single “bad outing”. Numbers are deceiving. You look at W’s and think he’s done well. We forget that those wins all came in extra inning games where he blew the lead- only to have the Dodger position players fight back and win in the extras. Numbers that tell the truth are the numbers that show the steady and worsening decline of velocity, break and cutting action. Dave Roberts is a players manager and it has cost the Dodgers more than one championship already. His teammates deserve better, the fans deserve better and Kenley deserves better. The pen is loaded with shutdown talent. If Roberts won’t wake up and smell what’s cookin, the powers that be might need to give him a little push. You can see the fear in Jansens eyes and the enemy does too. Time for a change. Just do it and let’s win it in 2020!

  13. Don’t blame Jansen.. put the blame where it belongs.. on Roberts,, i said all last year Roberts is a crap manger,, he lost many games last year with his stupid decsions,, and I was very upset whan the kept him as a manger.. this is just amother of his blundders,, he is horrible!!!!

  14. Jansen should no longer be the closer and Roberts should have been fired two seasons ago, maybe 3. Actually never should of been hired.

  15. Just another one of Doc’s masterpieces….first he moves his right fielder to second base because Mookie would kinda like to play there, altho Lux definitely needs the reps….then we set and watch that fiasco last nite. I wonder what is next, Mookie on the sidelines with a microphone and Alanno in right field? This is no way to run a railroad….let alone win a World Series.

    Come on Doc, get with the program. Put the best players out there and let’s win this thing!

  16. Yes yes yes,,, Kenley was toast 2 seasons ago.. So they can take him and Roberts and the office number-crunchers staff when they all hit the road… Oh and uh… For all the Bozos who come in here, not the the real fans, his name is Kenley J-A-N-S-E-N… Jansen.

  17. Roberts is the issue. he makes bad calls all the time. and unfortunately others pay for it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Back to top button