by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (5/22/2013) Colleague Al Melchior's interpretation of Dodgers manager Don Mattingly's comments Tuesday about not wanting to anoint a closer? "It's Jansen."
That's what he said in between segments on Wednesday's Fantasy Baseball Today -- referring, of course, to Kenley Jansen -- and I can't disagree.
If Mattingly is declaring an open competition for the role, which is how I read it, then Jansen shouldn't have much trouble delivering the decisive blow to Brandon League. His meltdowns over the weekend have created some suspense, but in the end, he'll prove to be the more effective reliever.
And if his performance as a closer last year counts for anything, he might end up being a top-five reliever the rest of the way.
Dodgers won't name permanent closer
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (5/22/2013) Dodgers manager Don Mattingly would not reveal who his closer is to reporters. However, the skipper seems to be leaning toward Kenley Jansen over Brandon League in high-stress situations based on recent use, according to MLB.com.
"I know who I want to use. But I don't know if I want to anoint anybody," Mattingly said. "I'd really like to see the bullpen get its confidence back and some semblance of order and get the guys in the roles we designed. I know where I want it to go, it just hasn't gone there. They set the roles the way they are pitching. Now it's hard to say, 'That guy deserves that inning.'"
League has a 5.51 ERA through 16 appearances while Jansen has three losses and has allowed three homers in his last 5 1/3 innings of work.
Kenley Jansen suffers first blown save
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/19/2013) Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen blew his first save Saturday against the Braves. Jansen entered the game in the eighth inning with a 1-0 lead and an inherited runner.
But he was greeted by a two-run homer from Evan Gattis and Andrelton Simmons followed with a solo shot, sending Jansen (1-2) and the Dodgers to an eventual 3-1 loss.
Jansen said Gattis "just hit a good pitch." Gattis said Justin Upton gave him advice about avoiding cutters that appeared to be bound for the middle of the plate because they would break off the plate. Gattis said Upton's instruction was to wait on a pitch "starting at you, or it looks like it's starting at you. That's going to be the one that you want."
"What could I do?" Jansen asked. "I'm not going to let that bother me. Tip your hat. He hit a good pitch. You've got to go in there. Period. He's creeping up on home plate every time I'm throwing outside. I put it where I wanted to put it."
Don't wait to pick up Kenley Jansen
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst (5/15/2013) Between Brandon League's struggles and Kenley Jansen's successful conversion of a save opportunity Tuesday, the Dodgers officially have a closer controversy. With manager Don Mattingly's decision to use Jansen even though League was available, Fantasy owners have more reason to doubt the skipper's commitment to keeping League in the ninth-inning role.
When League appeared to be uncontested as the closer, Fantasy owners were taking a risk in rostering Jansen, even though he has a decidedly better statistical profile for the job. Now that there is even a sliver of doubt around League's status, it's time to pounce on Jansen in the many leagues where he is still on waivers. Given a chance to close out games, Jansen is highly likely to pitch so well that Mattingly won't put him back in a setup role.
With regular save opportunities, Jansen would be an across-the-board contributor (aside from wins) who would rank among the top three closers in Fantasy for the rest of the season.
Kenley Jansen the new Dodgers' closer?
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/15/2013) A day after backing the struggling Brandon League as his closer, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly turned to Kenley Jansen for the one-out save Tuesday against the Nationals, prompting the question has Mattingly made a change at closer?
"We’ll see," Mattingly said, per the Los Angeles Times. "I don’t know if I really have to set roles. We always talk about where we’re at in the lineup. I know we like to create controversies and all that. Honestly, I prefer having roles where everybody knows where they’re at. But tonight I felt like Kenley was the best shot of getting that guy out."
Jansen said he's fine with whatever role Mattingly wants him to fill.
"Honestly, it don’t matter," Jansen said. "Whenever the [bullpen] phone rings for me, it’s time to work. Go out there and help the team win, that’s all that’s on my mind. I don’t watch the roles. That’s for Donnie and the front office to deal with."
Kenley Jansen earns one-out save
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (5/15/2013) Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen faced just one batter on Tuesday night against the Nationals. He came on in the ninth inning with one on, two out and a two-run lead. The right-hander got Tyler Moore to strike out swinging to strand the runner and secure the 2-0 win.
It was Jansen's second save of 2013.
Dodgers consider ninth-inning options
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (5/9/2013) The Dodgers considered making a change in the ninth inning after Brandon League took his second straight loss on Tuesday, but the club is sticking with the right-hander as its closer, MLB.com reports.
"Obviously I can't say I haven't given thought to it," Mattingly said before Wednesday's game against Arizona. "The games that Brandon has given up runs have been games he wasn't necessarily closing. But Kenley is throwing the ball good. I've given thought to it."
Mattingly added that he could still move Kenley Jansen into the closer's role.
"I'm just still thinking about it," Mattingly said. "We still talk about it and go back and forth. It's like anything else -- all of a sudden we flip it and then we got a mess. Not that we're not in a mess already a little bit. But Brandon is actually throwing the ball OK. He's not walking a bunch of people. In save situations, he's been really good."
Brandon League keeping Kenley Jansen in picture
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (4/26/2013) Don't look now, but Dodgers closer Brandon League has allowed an earned run in four of his last six appearances. He's been the antithesis of reliable.
League entered the season as the most evident example of a closer whose setup man (Kenley Jansen) is the superior pitcher, so Fantasy owners anticipated a change at some point. So far, he has yet to put that idea to rest.
I agree with Nando Di Fino that a reliever who's already getting saves, such as Edward Mujica or Jose Valverde, deserves a roster spot over Jansen, particularly if you don't already own League, but Jansen is still as valuable as a setup man can get in Fantasy.
Kenley Jansen picks up win Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (4/25/2013) Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen picked up his first win of the season Thursday.
Jansen pitched a scoreless eighth inning, giving up one hit and one walk. Jansen struck out two during the outing. Andre Ethier and Juan Uribe hit run-scoring singles in the ninth, giving Jansen the win.
Time to drop Kenley Jansen?
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (4/23/2013) With a new crop of would-be closers either about to break through or reclaim their old jobs (Edward Mujica, Bruce Rondon, Carlos Marmol), there's a point where Fantasy owners have to ask themselves: How long do I hold on to Kenley Jansen?
The 25-year-old has a 1.80 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 10 innings -- and has even managed a save this year -- but it's clear that Brandon League is the without-question closer for the Dodgers, having saved five games with a 2.57 ERA and 0.86 WHIP.
League is no stranger to early season hiccups, but it's tough to base your closer strategy on simply waiting for him to fall apart, especially considering this is his first real taste (outside of late last year) of the DH-less National League. Jansen is owned in 46 percent of leagues, and that number is slipping as owners look for saves right now. In Roto leagues where Jansen's top-line high-strikeout/low-ratio profile has value, he's definitely worth holding. But as a bench stash in shallower formats, it might be time to set Jansen loose and focus on the free-agent relievers getting actual saves, as opposed to waiting for Brandon League to fail.
Kenley Jansen picks up first save
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (4/12/2013) Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen was called upon to pitch the ninth inning of Thursday's game against the Padres and preserved a 3-2 lead, striking out one while allowing no walks or hits to pick up his first save of the year.
Dodgers closer Brandon League threw 34 pitches the day before, so he stayed in the bullpen while Jansen shut the door.
Kenley Jansen held at bay
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (4/8/2013) Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen has pitched fine in three games to start the season, but so has the rest of the Dodgers' bullpen.
No reliever in the team's pen has surrendered a run yet, including closer Brandon League. Coming into the season, many expected Jansen to eventually take the closer role from League. Jansen is still a good source for holds and strikeouts, but he won't have a ton of value in most leagues unless he's racking up saves.
Kenley Jansen rebounds with scoreless inning
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (3/29/2013) Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen rebounded from allowing his first run of the spring on March 25 by throwing a scoreless inning against the Angels Thursday. He struck out one and allowed one hit. Jansen picked up his second hold while lowering his ERA to 1.42 over 6 1/3 innings of work.
Kenley Jansen cleared to join Netherlands
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (3/14/2013) Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jansen received his third-party medical clearance, due to his heart condition, and will join the Netherlands team in the semifinal round of the World Baseball Classic, according to the Orange County Register. Jansen will stay with the Dodgers for his scheduled outing Friday before flying to San Francisco to join the Netherlands on Sunday.
Kenley Jansen might pitch in WBC
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (3/14/2013) MLB.com reports Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen said he's "95 percent" sure he will join the Netherlands World Baseball Classic roster, if the team reaches the WBC final. "He's not missing anything and, actually, we think this will be good for him," manager Don Mattingly said. "He'll get into competition and it will be a good scenario, as far as the competition and energy level, and the fact it will only be a couple of days."
Jansen fully recovered
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (1/27/2013)The Orange County Register reports Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen said he is fully recovered from the surgery he underwent in October to address an irregular heartbeat. He added doctors said there should be no further issues. "I'm doing well," Jansen said. "This is going to take care of it, no more problems. Put it in God's hands now."