Los Angeles Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen had a pretty subpar 2019, and it has me wondering if free agent acquisition Blake Treinen will end up taking his job in 2020. While I love Jansen for what he’s been, he’s a shell of his former self. There’s no fear in the heart of the hitter when they step in the box against Jansen late.
In addition, I feel Treinen taking Jansen’s closer job is more a matter of Treinen regaining form; rather than it is Jansen. It feels like it’s a slow decline for Jansen from the game’s elite as a stopper, and he held off the wolves a lot longer then most.
On Wednesday – Jansen joined Chris Russo of MLB Network’s High Heat to talk about the season that was – and the one now fast approaching.
Are the @Dodgers entering 2020 with a chip on their shoulder?
Closer @kenleyjansen74 joined @MadDogUnleashed on #HighHeat 📺 pic.twitter.com/r6msNYKN40
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 8, 2020
Russo asks Jansen if the Dodgers have a chip on their shoulder after the game five NLDS loss at the hands of the World Champion Washington Nationals. Jansen didn’t go that far, rather providing credit for Washington.
“You gotta give Washington credit. The starters they have is pretty legit. We have one of the best offensive teams in the league and they held us down a little bit. They went into the second round and it went quick. Then they beat up on the Astros. You gotta give them credit, they’re the World Series champs. At the same time we gotta get it back together. People have to understand with us not making moves, we had a really good team. We gotta be competing and try to get back to the playoffs.”
If the Dodgers are going to get over the hump and win their first title since 1988, Jansen is going to need to factor in. He may not need to be the closer. But to be a guy who can enter a game late and get a few tough outs, the Dodgers can use all the help they can get.