Dodgers: Kenley Jansen Thinks Driveline Visit Has Helped
The Joe and Orel Off-Air podcast featured Dodgers’ pitcher Kenley Jansen this week. In the midst of a financial debacle, the broadcast duo asked the closer about his life in quarantine, his time in Curacao, and everything in between.
Part of the conversation led to Kenley’s time at Driveline, the popular pitching mechanics training facility utilized by some of the biggest names in baseball. Kenley was one of several Dodgers players to make the commitment to training with Driveline this past offseason.
You see how these guys was already prepared for me, they showed me tapes on how I was doing from 2014 all the way to 2017. And they showed me how I was slowly changing in 2018 and 2019, how my body changed and the position that I was throwing the ball. It was great…They showed me how my body was in position compared to two years back how my body was.
Statistically, Kenley had one of the worst years of his career pitching in 2019. He finished with a career-worst 3.71 earned run average and allowed 8 blown saves in 41 opportunities. Kenley’s strikeout rate also went down while his walk rate went up. For the Dodgers, Driveline might have been the last chance to get him right.
And from the looks of things, it worked. Kenley looked sharp during Spring Training, tossing six innings and allowing just one solo homerun. Jansen also struck out 11 and did not issue a single free pass in the process. If Kenley can return to his 2017 form, the Dodgers’ 2020 bullpen is going to be among the most feared in the league.
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Seriously? Another tweak will make him the pitcher he was in 2016? He’s a mediocre middle reliever, think Mark Melancon, right about now. We’re all tired of him giving up the late inning game deciding home run then staring up into the lights and muttering the F word as the guy who hit one of those cheeseball cutters or sliders or whatever Jansen proclaims is his best pitch that day rounds the bases.