Results tagged ‘ Kenley Jansen ’
In a season full of expectations and a new era of Dodger baseball there has been a lot of umm Drama around the Los Angeles Dodgers. If you looked at the roster you’d think this team would be in first place in the NL West by the All-Star break right? Right now as of today the Dodgers find themselves 2.5 Games out of first place which is being held by the Arizona Diamondbacks and are 4.5 Games back of the Wild Card. They also have a record of 47-47. So you might be wondering what on earth happened? Let me answer your question with this: A LOT! The start of the 2013 Season seemed very promising after opening day but from then on things kind’ve sent south. Losing games due to lack of offensive and defensive production, Bullpen issues, Mismanagement of the team, and Injuries were the main issues that hurt the Dodgers in the first half of the season. It seemed like an ever lasting nightmare from April to Mid June. It got to the point where the Dodgers found themselves below .500 and 9.5 games out of 1st place in the NL West. Come Late June things took a turn for the better. Lets break down the 1st half of the Dodgers 2013 season.
Injuries: Dodgers kept getting hit with Injuries left and right. From the begining of the season and on the Dodgers have struggled to keep healthy and that has hurt the Dodgers from producing. Think of it like this, Pretty much majority of the Dodgers roster has been on the DL at some point. Hanley, Kemp, Crawford, Aj Ellis, Scott Van Slyke. The group that took the hardest hit when it comes to injuries has to be Pitching. At the start of the season the Dodgers had Starting Pitchers like there was no tomorrow but with injuries that number quickly fell. Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett will miss the season which hurt the 4 and 5 pitching spot before the Nolasco trade, Zack Greinke broke his collar-bone in the bench clearing fight with Carlos Quentin and the San Diego Padres, and Fife/Capuano missing time as well. Last season the Dodgers injuries cost them and this season it has hurt them at the start.
Lack of production and bad play: Outside of injuries the lack of production was another thing that killed the Dodgers. Whenever there were runners in scoring position it seems as if the Dodgers failed capitalize on the chance given. Yes we all understand about the injuries and pitching but there’s no excuse for the Dodgers not getting runs when the chance is there. Leaving men on base, below average with RISP, It just doesn’t add up with a Line up like this. This season Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier who are usually key factors have really under produced and many Dodger fans aren’t happy about it. Lack of bench production hasn’t been all that great either and defensively the team just hard to watch. Overall it was just bad baseball.
Pitching issues and Bullpen Problems: Where can I start? Well lets put this out there the 1-2-3 Starting pitching slot was not an issue at all. We kind’ve got that but when it comes to the 4-5 spot and bullpen….thats a different story. The Dodgers came into the season with a loaded starting pitching staff and a bullpen that was one of the best in the NL last season. As the season went it was the complete opposite of that. Chad Billingsley went down to an ongoing arm injury that required Tommy John Surgery, Josh Beckett was winless during the season after he had an amazing Spring Training. A nerve injury forced him to have surgery and miss the season as well. As for Ted Lilly? He continues to struggle with injuries and had multiple rehab stints and continues to have a set back. Steven Fife tends to have solid outings and has potental but Chris Capuano has been very inconsistent and has given up a lot of hits in his outings. The bullpen on the other hand as really been an issue for the most part of the season. Josh Wall who is no longer with the team has really not helped and struggled before being sent down and later traded in the Ricky Nolasco deal. Ronald Belisario has hurt the Dodgers and come in only to give up hits and runs. His ERA has sky rocketed as the season went but seems to get the hang of things towards the break. Brandon League on the other hand as took a complete turn south. After closing games last season and showing that he can be a solid reliever League has blown saves left and right. Many of us kept wondering why Mattingly sending him out to close games but finally he got it together and had Jansen as closer. Jansen out of the two is a no brainer right there to have as closer. The Dodgers also brought up guys like Chris Withrow and Jose Dominguez who can really throw the ball in the high 90′s. Paco Rodriguez and JP Howell also have had solid outings and can also get the team out of innings as well so things won’t be all doom and gloom for the pen from the looks of it. As far as Starting pitching? The Ricky Nolasco deal solidified their Number 4 starting pitching but still the 5 spot is the big question mark.
Puigmania- Something uplifting here that really took Los Angeles and the Baseball world by storm. Yasiel Puig. They hype started up when he played in rookie leagues and Single A but it was Spring Training where many started to hop on the bandwagon after posting impressive numbers but due to the lack of room for him on the 25 man roster Puig, As expected my many scouts, was sent to Double A Chattanooga for more development. Once the injuries hit the Dodgers Yasiel Puig was called up to the Dodgers and from there everything played itself out. Puig lived up to the hype he generated batting above .400 while playing and exciting fans around baseball. Before All-Star Break he had many write his name in on the All-Star ballot and came in 2nd in the Last Chance vote. Yeah he didn’t make the All-Star game but his presence provided a spark for the Dodgers that helped them make up ground in the NL West.
From 9.5 to 2.5: By June 21st the Dodgers found themselves 9.5 games back of the NL West and pretty much left for dead by many but when June 22nd hit things changed. The Dodgers would go on and hit a streak that would really shape up the NL West for them. Winning 17-22 Games from June 22nd to July 14th. The Dodgers ended up gaining ground on the Padres, Giants, and Rockies in that stretch of games. Now that Los Angeles find themselves in a great position come All-Star break it’ll be interesting to see what they can do in the 2nd half of the season.
Last time we covered the Starting Pitching and what a break down that was. Now it’s time to move to the Dodgers Bullpen. This has also been a focal point in the off-season outside of Starting Pitching. Dodgers went out and started off with re-signing Brandon League to a 3 year $22.5 Million Dollar Contract but even after that the Dodgers were still looking for left hand pitching which was something they were lacking due to Scott Elbert being out with an elbow injury and Randy Choate signing with St Louis. Los Angeles would go ahead and sign left-handed pitcher JP Howell. This is still a question mark but will the off-season additions as well as call-up’s from last season better the Bullpen? Lets go ahead and break it all down.
2012 Review: Before the start of last season you might as well had held your breath with a Dodger relever came out and yeah I was one of them. The Dodgers biggest question mark was with the bullpen who were indeed of a lot of things. Once the season started the bullpen came out ready to go and were impressing people for the most part. Javy Guerra and Kenley Jansen picked up where they left of from the 2011 season and Ronald Belisario came into his own. Scott Elbert and Josh Lindbloom were also solid early on in the season. Could the Bullpen be proving us wrong. Well things kind of went south after as the season went, Injuries hit, Inconsistent play, blown saves you name it. Javy Guerra lost his starting spot due to inconsistency, Jamie Wright and Matt Guerrier were adding more fuel to the fire in games, and not to mention that Kenley Jansen (irregular heart beat) and Scott Elbert (elbow) fell to injuries that hurt the Dodgers through the mid-point of the season. Things did have an upside though through Trades and call-ups. The Bullpen saw call-ups of Shawn Tolleson and Paco Rodriguez and the Dodgers acquiring Randy Choate and Brandon League in deals to help the bullpen. Josh Lindbloom would be traded to the Phillies in a deal that brought Shane Vctorino. After all the moves it wasn’t enough to provide the lift the Dodgers needed to reach the post-season. The Dodgers Bullpen ERA wise was Top 3 in the MLB at 3.35 (2nd in the NL) and 10th in the NL in saves.
Off-Season Moves: Relief pitching was a big thing that needed to be addressed. Outside of Starting pitching you can make a case that this was a important need here. The Dodgers re-signed Brandon League who was solid in 2012 with the Dodgers. In his 28 Games with L.A. He was 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA and had 6 Saves as a closer when Jansen went down to injury. The Dodgers didn’t really do much with it’s signings but they did lose Randy Choate in Free Agency (Signed with St Louis) leaving Los Angeles lacking a lefty out the pen (Elbert and Guerrier injured).
JP Howell- This was pretty much the only key move made to help the Bullpen. Howell, who played with Tampa Bay last season, Was signed to a one year deal with the Dodgers. JP is a solid pick up after losing Randy Choate to Free Agency. A left handed vet is what Howell will bring and with Elbert out this signing was much needed.
3 Questions to be answered:
Starting Pitchers in the Bullpen?- Last post I talked about Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano, and Aaron Harang being involved in trades. While I still believe that It’s not Farfetched that we could see them coming out the bullpen. You can never have too much pitching but with the depth of the Starting rotation there could be some starting pitchers Not Named Kershaw or Greinke that get moved. Ted Lilly already made note that he’ll be willing to moved to the Bullpen so that solves that for the most part.
Will there be consistency?- In baseball there’s 162 games so teams will have bad games BUT the Dodgers bullpen do have a hard time gaining consistency. There’s games where the Bullpen keep the Dodgers in the game and times where they become the “Box of Pain” and it gets painful to watch. If the Dodgers to win the Division ad some then they’ll have to be more consistent. They’ll need it from everyone in there.
Will the closers close?
The Dodgers went through 3-4 closers due to injury or inconsistency. Most of the games the Dodger closers have blown save opportunities. There has to be some consistency there between Jansen or League. Dodgers as a team had 40 Saves which was 18th in the MLB. Los Angeles will have to have more than that if they want to win the Division.
Players to Watch:
Javy Guerra- Last season Javy Guerra was the closer come opening day and was bound to have a good season but few games in Guerra lost it. He started to get inconsistent and soon lost his job to Jansen. Javy was sent to AAA for a little bit but was brought back up and moved as a middle reliever. Most likely Javy will be on the club come opening day as a middle reliever but weather he can keep that consistency has to be seen.
Kenley Jansen- The reason Jansen is on here is because of health. Jansen had an irregular heart beat which sidelined him. Now it’s about how will he pitch after it. Jansen had some issues with consistency last season but wasn’t pitching bad. I do believe that he will have a good season next season but his health is a concern.
Shawn Tolleson- Shawn Tolleson was called up last season for the Phillies series due to the number of injuries that struck the Dodgers at the time. Tolleson tends to get himself into a jam at times but can get himself out. He COULD make the club come opening day but who knows what the Dodgers will think come that time. No doubt we could have an upside.
Overall: The Dodgers bullpen was one if the best in the MLB last season. I believe this group they can repeat that and maybe better but they need to be consistent. They’ll have bad games and slumps but it can be a content things. The Dodgers bullpen have question marks but are also proven.
Next On Deck- Dodgers 2013 Preview: The Infield
The Los Angeles Dodgers held their Fan Fest which was a chance for many Dodger fans to come up to the Stadium and see their favorite Dodger players, coaches, legends, and personalities in person before the season started. Last year the Dodgers held a Fan Fest which was a such a success that they held it again on Saturday, A Month before Spring Training. Like last year, I managed to go this year and I have to say in my view Fan Fest over did itself from last season. Unlike last year I managed to meet many current players and coaches who turned out to be very great people. Fan Fest though started off great for me when i met the Stan Kasten. The man behind the work of putting the Dodgers back on top. I managed to get a picture with him after he talked on the podium to Season Ticket Holders who got to enter at 30 minutes before the General Public. After meeting him I have to say I can see why I along with many Dodger fans are sold on this guy restoring the Dodgers back to Major League prominence.
Back to the players. The players were very friendly and welcoming to the fans today that it made the event even better in my view. From Andre Ethier, Zack Greinke, Nick Punto, Jansen, and Javy Guerra meeting the Dodger players made me feel like a kid again. The highlight of the whole thing was having a good conversation with Javy Guerra about season tickets and Andre Ethier joking around with my little cousins. One thing that bothered me was how long the lines were for Kemp, Ryu, Cruz, and Mark Ellis which cause us to not even attempt to stand in line for them. The interviews were also very good as well and attracted a huge crowd once Vin, Kemp, and Aj came. Matt Kemp managed to follow a fan on twitter during a Q&A with fans as well as encouraged many Dodger fans to make the trip to Spring Training next month. I honestly believe the best on stage Interview by far was by Tommy Lasorda who gave the fans a real pep talk to pump them up. He told many Dodger fans in attendance that he had a Wait Problem because he can’t wait till the season starts. I honestly felt very pumped up when he was talking. Made me want to suit up and play. You can always count on Tommy Lasorda to get the Fans going. Vin Scully was also a treat to hear and see. Vin always blesses us with his voice during Dodger games and his presence was even greater to see at Fan Fest. The crowd also got its first look at Hyun-Jin Ryu as he came to the stage and greeted the many Dodger fans at Fan Fest. One area that really caught my attention was the baseball history tent where they had historical artifacts from years on in baseball. I was very impressed with the programs from the late 1800′s and old uniforms they wore in the 1920′s as well.
There were some things that would’ve been done better like being better organized but In my opinion I was very good. There were some people on the other hand who had a lot of complaints about Fan Fest and I hope the Dodgers fix that next time to make it even better. Many Dodger fans not only showed for Fan Fest but to also buy Tickets for Individual games. From early Saturday morning many Dodger fans showed up to receive a wristband and take part in a raffle to purchase tickets so it wasn’t promised that you’d got tickets regardless if you got a wristband. Some decided to buy online but there a few who told me that the website crashed and that they were unable to get tickets while some were just unlucky. Tickets sold out very quickly. Tickets online were however limited which ment only a number was sold. it’s unclear though if more will go on sale later on so that’s something to wait and see later on. It will also be interesting to see if Season Tickets and Mini Plan demands go up because of the people who didn’t get tickets to the games.
All in All Saturday the Dodgers did a lot to bring a bigger buzz and anticipation for Baseball. 21,000 Fans were in attendance for Fan Fest. It pumped me up even more for the season and I can’t wait till Spring Training to see the Los Angeles Dodgers step on the field for their road toward bringing back a championship to Los Angeles. The threat of rain was a big concern but it grew smaller and smaller as the skies cleared and the sun beamed through Blue Heaven On Earth. Cousins had fun, Got to meet players, and meet more Dodger fans and catch up with many friends as well. Oh how I can’t wait for the season to start.
The Dodgers currently are one of the top teams in the NL right now on top of the NL West Playing good baseball. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are hot and the Starting Pitching has been unbelievably good. So what’s the problem? Well As I mentioned during Spring Training the Bullpen is the one issue I’m still Worried about. Through this season it seems like we hold our breath when its someone outside of Kenley Jansen, Javi Guerra, and Josh Lindbloom comes out the Pen. Jamey Wright, Scott Elbert, MacDougal, Guerrier makes me sweat every time they get into the game and really that’s not good at all especially in one run games.
Yes I know the offense has to get insurance runs to prevent the worry but the Bullpen also has to play a part to help out instead of hurting. This was a story last year and is still some what of an issue. Can we trust the rest of the Bullpen? The Dodgers can’t rely on Guerra Jansen and Lindbloom every single game. Someone HAS to step up and take some pressure off the team. I’m know we won’t get a constant 1..2..3 Inning but all I ask is to stop giving up the game. With a Defense behind them doing what they can to Keep the Dodgers in the game or ahead should be less difficult.
Like I stated earlier Dodgers should also get some insurance runs to help out the pen and take less pressure off but the Pen should also do what they can to take less pressure off the Batters as well instead of adding to it. Its a long season so there’s time to improve and stay on top so not panic button is needed but there has to be improvement not regression.
Dodgers starting off the season on Fire going 9-1 making it their best Start since 1988…That was the year they won the World Series. After All that the Dodgers have went through this is a start that the Dodgers and it’s fans could use. Now not to rain on parades but the last time the Dodgers had a great start was 2005 where the Dodgers jumped out of the gate at 12-2 but ended the season at 71-91 which was one of the Franchises worst records but what makes this so different is that the Dodgers have the players to do damage. I’ve heard it all from people regarding this start and while Many are excited about the 9-1 start others are skeptical stating that they’ve only played two teams that the Dodgers Should handle. I for one am Excited at the 9-1 Start but see room for improvement but what can you say?
I understand that we’re 10 games into a 162 Game season and anything can happen but rallying the wins for this Ball club won’t hurt. I will throw out one argument is the whole “Look at who the Dodgers played” or They’re suppose to be them comments. Its hard to go 9/10 In Baseball against Any Team in Baseball and the way the Dodgers Did it makes this start impressive. The Dodgers will be tested this week against on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers and get the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals (Yes I said the Nationals) at Dodgers Stadium before hitting a tough month of May. The 9-1 Start is a good build in momentum leading up to the tough games.
Why are the Dodgers on this good start. Well 10 Games in the Dodgers are playing really good Baseball. offensively the Dodgers are getting great production from Matt Kemp who has been continuing to play out of his mind and Andre Ethier is redeeming himself from a not so good 2011 Season and Juan Rivera is still that solid player to back them up but it’s not only those three stepping up to help. Mark Ellis, AJ Ellis, and YES Juan Uribe are also contributing with their bats. The Dodgers however need Dee Gordon to get on base to provide another Base Stealing threat for the Dodgers but Dee will have to have better plate discipline for that to happen. Pitching has also been pretty good. While Clayton Kershaw has yet to record a win others behind him has stepped up to help provide the wins. Chad Billingsley in two games has played like he did in his All-Star years proving to be a Solid number two. Ted Lilly in his first start back from injury and Chris Capuano has really stepped up as well. While some like the Bullpen right now Outside of Javy Guerra, Kenley Janson, and Josh Lindbloom ,who has done a great job so far, Im not yet sold on the Bullpen but so far has done a good job.
What does this start mean? Well for the Dodgers and Dodger fans it means a lot. After enduring what went down last season and the off-season with McCourt the Dodgers and the City of Los Angeles are riding a high off Momentum. Momentum that has started with Magic’s Group Purchase of the Dodgers and continuing with the Dodgers play and if the Dodgers keep this up then sky is the limit for the team. Now the Dodgers won’t sweep everyone or win every series but if the Dodgers can take 2 of 3 or 3 of 4 in most series games and the NL West then they’re in the Playoffs and add another NL West title. Los Angeles is buzzing thanks to the Boy in Blue. Something Special is happening in Los Angeles Baseball Fans.
As Spring Training comes to a close and Opening Day approaches It’s time that we take a look into the Dodgers Spring Training. Filled with some good play, bad play, Bad weather, Hot weather, Ties, magical ownerships The Dodgers wrapping up Spring Training in Arizona before heading to Anaheim to play the Angels in the Freeway Series. The Dodgers went on to have a 14-13 Record in Spring Training with a few ties. Watching the games that we’re televised on TV I would have to say there were somethings that have impressed me and some that didn’t impress me but all in all Spring Training have given us a taste of whats to come. Lets go ahead and Recap Spring Training in Arizona.
Who Impressed-There were a few Players this Spring that really impressed me. One who stood out the most was Andre Ethier and Dee Gordon. Ethier who is coming off Knee Surgery and a not so good 2011 Season managed to Play this spring with many questions that appears to be answered for right now. Ethier played like the Ethier that we all know and is showing the potential for a monster season. Dee Gordon exploded into the Major League scene with his amazing speed but his issue has been hitting at the Major League Level. During Spring Training Leading off Dee has been able to hit into the Gaps and Successful bunting by taking advantage of his speed. Stealing Bases as well has been a huge success this spring as well. Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp have also showed how they can look to improve on their Monster Season from 2011. Any worry so far of them disapointing have not shown so far. Juan Rivera, Nathian Eovaldi, and Kenley Jansen have also pitched in with stellar showings as well which give Dodger fans something to look forward too.
Who Disapointed- While some impressed there have been a few that really disapointed me this Spring Training. Juan Uribe who had a disapointing 2011 Season had a lot to prove to people. During the Spring Uribe really have not shown that things will get better for the season. Uribe who is on the Opening Day Line up will have to produce this season. Another set of players that have disapointed me have been Chad Billingsley and Ted Lily. Billingsley who has been in the All-Star game a very good pitcher has found himself imploading in the middle of games giving up runs and beat up by batters. During the Spring it seemed like we were getting a repeat of the 2011 Season as Billingsley went through his mid game breakdowns that would hurt the team. Ted Lily also had issues with pitching last season giving up multipul home runs in games which really put the Dodgers in a bad position as well. In the Spring Ted Lily had also had the same isssue as well as getting bases stolen off of him. Lily is starting the Season on the DL due to Neck stiffness issues which sidelined him for the rest of Spring training.
One Year under Mattingley’s Belt- Last Season Don Mattingley did a pretty good job managing the team dispite off the field issues with the Franchise ownership. Keeping the teams focus on the field play good ball has been one heck of an effort by Mattingley. This season he will look to apply somethings that he learned from last season and apply it to become even better. The potential is really briht for Mattingley to become a very Good Manager. The players respect and play hard for him and the Fans love him.
Big heart Factor- I can’t count how many times this team has been down late in games and stormed back to either take the lead or tie the game. The Dodgers have showed that other teams that games aren’t over until the final out and have stormed back a few times thanks to late game heroics. This team can fight and weather they apply it to the Season. If so then they can really be something when down in games.
Storyline of Spring Training- One way or another The Dodgers Ownership situation would dominate the headlines and most of the time it wasn’t positive. This Time It was Magical. April 27th would be a day where the Los Angeles Dodgers would open another new chapter in Dodger Baseball. Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, Mark Wither and co Were approved by MLB and Former Owner Frank McCourt as they bought the Dodgers for 2.15 Billion. The new Ownership group was a sign and start of whats to be a Bright future for Dodger Baseball and the City of Los Angeles as they look to restore the luster back into one of Baseballs most historic franchises. This is something all Dodger fans can really low towards as this is the start of a brand new and Magical Era in Not only Dodgers baseball but MLB it’s self.
For those who play Fantasy Baseball like myself looking into Spring Training and picking players who could bring you wins and a Fantasy League title can be a hard process. Well look no further than here for your Fantasy Fix here (On the Dodgers end that is). Looking at the Spring Training games and Projecting what players could help you win and theres quite a few who could put up solid numbers, Just enough to get you by. While some maybe Obvious others will really make you think. Just a heads up Im exluding Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw because those are no brainers right there.
OF Andre Ethier- I truely believe that Ethier will have a big year this year. This spring he has impressed a lot of people and can only carry over to the season (As we hope). If you’re drafting Don’t take him too early. Ethier will likely be there around the 4th and 6th round. 5th round would be best to take him. He’ll put up solid numbers if you’re loking for RBI’s, HR, and Batting AVG.
OF/1B- Juan Rivera- Last year Rivera had a solid year with the Dodgers. Second Half of the season He put up some decent numbers to help the Dodgers. People who picked him up also loved the year he had as well. This spring he struggled some what but I can see Rivera picking it up in time for the season. Juan Rivera will likely get picked up late in Drafts so there shouldn’t be a urgancy to scoop him up in a hurry. Just like Ethier you can expect Rivera to give you RBI’s, HR, and Batting AVG Stats.
SS Dee Gordon-Looking for Steals? Dee Gordon is your guy for that! Dee Gordon ,who wowed fans with his Speed stealing bases, Looking to add on to last season. During Spring training Dee improved getting on base by hitting into the gaps and successful bunts. Another guy you can pick up between the 5th and 6th round of a draft. Gordon will help with Steals in a BIG way this season and if the chance is there then get to it.
RP Kenley Jansen- Looking for a under the radar pick for the Bullpen? Kenley Jansen is your guy. Jansen who is a setup Pitcher had a monster year with the Dodgers Striking out 61 Batters in 32.2 Innings and having 0.55 ERA at the time before going down with a Irregular Heartbeat. Spring Training it looked as if he Didn’t lose a step. Likely Jansen will be a steal for you if you can’t get that pitcher you had your eye on.
CL- Javy Gurrea-Javy Guerra closed for the Dodgers last year and did wonders closing for LA. Guerra along with Jansen make a deadly 1-2 Punch in the Bullpen. You can’t go wrong picking Guerra if you don’t get Jansen. Guerra I believe will put up solid numbers for fantasy teams. Guerra will likely be there later on in the Draft so no need to rush for him.