After an eventful save on Wednesday night, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen credited his hips, not his glove, for another successful ninth inning. Jansen has slightly adjusted his lower body mechanics this season and it’s paying dividends.
Adrenaline Vibes ?? ?? pic.twitter.com/h3dqIRBeHs
— Kenley Jansen (@kenleyjansen74) June 10, 2021
Kenley went into more detail during the postgame press conference.
“Resetting my hip. Make sure my hip is in the right direction and just push through my hip. Whenever I’m using my hip, my lower half, that’s been the velo.”
In 2020, Jansen’s cutter averaged 90.9 MPH. Since May 1st of this season, the three-time All-Star’s signature pitch is averaging 92.2. Jansen expanded on why his new approach with his lower body has been vital to the velo.
“For me, it’s more just sticking with my lower half. Just trust it. Make sure my lower half [is going] first and everything will happen. Whenever my lower half is on point, my arm is going to catch up to it and I’m gonna let it go.”
The Dodgers closer cited his April 11th appearance against Washington as the light bulb moment. In his three outings prior to that, his cutter sat at 91.0 MPH on average. Jansen threw four cutters 93 MPH or more that Sunday versus the Nationals.
“The cutter that I have is always a feel pitch. Whenever I have a good feel on it, and the muscle memory is on point, it’s going to be a plus pitch. I just got to stick with it. Trust what I’m doing.”
Jansen sports a 1.75 ERA this season. If he can maintain his current performance, he’ll be on track to post his lowest ERA through June since his immaculate 2017 (0.79).
They haven’t all been complete gems in 2021, but he’s been the Dodgers most consistent reliever.
After a couple of touch-and-go seasons, has Kenley finally found a way to consistently throw the ball hard again?