Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has been dominant in 2021, and that’s usually rewarded with an All-Star Game appearance. Unfortunately, Jansen was left off the team.
The 33-year-old right-hander was NOT happy about it.
“Laughing in disappointment,” Jansen said Monday to the media at Marlins Park. “It’s like an insult, kind of. I guess I gotta put up a zero ERA and have zero blown saves, probably, for me to get recognized.”
Jansen was actually pretty close to that, as he’s converted 21 of his 23 save attempts with a 1.30 ERA in 34-2/3 innings. That’s not only worthy of an All-Star appearance, but it’s a highway robbery that he won’t be there. To be fair, Major League Baseball allows the fans to vote, so his gripe should be with his fan base.
Putting it lightly, Kenley Jansen wasn’t good the past few seasons. Most of that failure was due to his sharp decline in velocity, but Jansen quickly began to improve once he understood why that occurred. According to him, it was all in the hips.
“When I’m pitching out there, I’m focused on my hips. My hips gotta throw. My hips gotta throw the ball. It’s not my arm. My arm is just a whip,” he said.
Now he routinely touches 96 miles an hour when he was struggling to stay in the 90s just last year. The Dodgers also won the World Series last season, and now they suddenly have prime Kenley Jansen at their disposal. That’ll help the team repeat in October, and I’d have to imagine Jansen cares more about his return to dominance than the ego stroke of an All-Star team. Gives the guy a four-day break — we could all use that.