|photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images|
He was off to a horrible start this season, one so bad, that it looked like he wouldn’t be able to recover enough to make his stat line respectable. All that caused by two or three rough outings in April and May that caused a demotion to the minor leagues. However, his rebound to effectiveness has been remarkable. Since June, Kenley Jansen is arguably the most successful relief pitcher in the game.
In his last 22 appearances dating back to June 18th Jansen has posted an ERA of 0.36. His strikeouts per nine innings pitched is 15.32. He has allowed only 6 hits and 10 walks during that same time span. It could easily be argued that Jansen should be the closer, but Javy Guerra has been stellar in that department too.
|Kenley Jansen's arm strength caught everyone's attention after he threw out numerous Dominican Republic base stealers in the 2009 World Baseball Classic for the Netherlands. By 2010 he was converted to a pitcher.|
The tandem of Jansen-Guerra could be amongst the best in the game and certainly is a welcome sight to Dodger fans that lost both potential closers (Broxton and Padilla) early in the year to injury. With reports that Guerra is nursing a split fingernail that doesn’t appear to be healing, sliding Jansen into the closer’s role does not appear to be a major concern to the team.
Jansen’s irregular heartbeat problem back in July seems to have been corrected. Let’s hope that he remains healthy for years to come because Kenley will be a vital piece to the Dodger’s future success.
And speaking of the future, with potential departures to several key players this year, as we look towards 2012, there could be some major roster changes that the blue crew will face next year. Aaron Miles, Jamey Carroll, Tony Gwynn, Jon Garland, Vicente Padilla, Jonathan Broxton, Rod Barajas, Hiroki Kuroda and Casey Blake are not signed through next year. Loney is up in the air with regards to being tendered a contract.
I tend to think that Miles returns, based on what I overheard him telling his Antioch, CA neighbors along the first base line prior to Friday night’s game. (“Mattingly likes me, and the organization is happy with the year I’ve had,” he said). Gwynn also will probably be offered a deal in the low 6 figure range. But I see Carroll getting a deal elsewhere, Kuroda returning home to Japan and the others mentioned above are as good as gone.
With the pursestrings tied up due to the ownership fiasco, there isn’t a prayer of the Dodgers signing Albert Pujols to a worthy deal that would make him the highest paid player in the game and as much as I think Prince Fielder is a perfect fit, the money isn’t there with this ownership. Making payroll in 2012 will again be on McCourt’s mind.
As long as Frank McCourt continues to hold the reigns of ownership, the Dodgers will field a team as if they are a small market club. The boycott has shown McCourt that the fans won’t put up with the shenanigans, but it hasn’t done the trick in ousting the ownership. I fear 2012 will be another sub par year. But we should get to see the kids play unless Colletti goes out and signs the likes of Aaron Roward, Justin Miller, William Van Landingham and Shawon Dunstin.
Come to think of it, if Ned is still in charge, we probably won’t see some of the kids play.
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