If you were at Dodger Stadium last July 14, this memory was probably burned in your hippocampus:
Kenley Jansen, too. Then the Dodgers closer, Jansen blew a save when he turned his back on home plate. It’s not the quintessential example of his inability to hold runners on base, but it’s the most egregious.
Jansen has seen 17 runners attempt to steal a base against him, including Everth Cabrera‘s famous swipe of home. All 17 have been successful. Fortunately he doesn’t allow too many runners to reach base, but that’s an egregious stat.
Sandy Koufax agrees.
The Dodgers’ new special advisor has been watching video of the right-hander’s delivery, and passed along some pointers this week designed to help Jansen keep runners honest.
“He just saw some stuff that I did last year, crossing my body and stuff. When I came to the majors in 2010 I was more straight” delivering the ball, Jansen said.
This project was one of the reasons Jansen cited for not wanting to play in the World Baseball Classic in March. He likely would have closed for The Netherlands. (Jansen is a native of Curacao, an island that is property of the Dutch.)
Another was health. Jansen thought he was going to be taking prescription blood-thinning medication for three months following heart surgery in October to correct an arrhythmia, but was relieved when he was taken off the medication in November.
“When January came around, I felt like I wanted to” play in the WBC, he said, “but when I came to camp I thought I need to be here and work on some stuff.”