This week, Dave Roberts has announced that he expects Kenley Jansen to be the team’s closer this season and fans are not happy about it.
After winning the World Series last season, expectations will once again be high for the Los Angeles Dodgers and manager Dave Roberts. With that being said, Roberts is already off to a bit of a rough start in 2021 with his latest statement.
On Thursday, the veteran skipper has come out and said that he expects veteran hurler Kenley Jansen to be the club’s closer come Opening Day. As you might imagine, the LA supporters are less than enthusiastic about this update.
Dave Roberts, again, said he expects Kenley Jansen to be the #Dodgers' opening day closer.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) February 18, 2021
Kenley Jansen will be the Dodgers’ Opening Day closer
It goes without saying, but Jansen has really seen his velocity drop in recent years and the fanbase has grown frustrated with his performances out on the bump. During the shortened 2020 campaign, the 33-year-old pitcher went 3-1 with a 3.33 ERA and 11 saves. However, he’s also been known throughout his career for some painful showings in the postseason.
Jansen unfortunately holds the World Series record with four blown saves. That’s a number that no one wants to own. Nerves drop for Dodgers fans whenever Jansen enters a game in the postseason. The last thing they want is to worry late in a game.
So, when Jansen blew a save in Game 4 of the World Series in 2020, you might imagine why some panic set in. The fact that Roberts is ready to keep sending him to pitch with games on the line to start the year probably isn’t what everyone was hoping for.
The question marks for the Dodgers and their closer situation will only grow if Jansen has some struggles to start the season. The pressure is on. We’ll see if the veteran pitcher can deliver.