They should be concerned though. Dodger’s spring training would not be complete without at least one tight or strained hamstring. Enter franchise closer Kenley Jansen. That’s right Kenley, (who has yet to pitch at all this spring) has been diagnosed with a tight hamstring. Apparently his hammy tightened up before the Dodger’s 6-4 win over the Royals on Friday afternoon. Kenley felt the tightness during pregame warm-ups and the Dodgers of course would rather be cautious with their all-star closer. So they have held him out from game action.
Kenley has been “on vacation” since spring training began. Basically he hasn’t pitched at all. The Dodgers are trying to give a few of their relievers extra time since they’ve all had an extended workload from last season’s World Series run. It would be nice if Kenley would take it easy over the next week so the Dodgers avoid Kenley having to start the season on the disabled list. The Dodgers don’t need that aggravation and we don’t either.
Kenley tossed 68.1 innings during the 2017 regular season. The big closer saved 41 games and posted a 1.32 ERA while appearing in 65 games. He struck out 109 batters and walked only 7 during what has been considered one of his finest seasons to date.
Kenley also appeared in 13 of the Dodger’s 15 postseason games while tossing 16.2 October frames. Kenley pitched in 6 of the 7 World Series games for the Dodgers. Kenley was supposed to make his Cactus League debut on Friday afternoon before he felt the tightness in his hamstring.
The Dodger’s plan is to have Kenley pitch in a B game on Monday before making his spring debut next Thursday against the Royals at Camelback Ranch. That will be two weeks before opening day. Manager Dave Roberts has said that the injury is not serious and that Kenley will receive treatment on Saturday. The Dodgers think that Kenley (and most of the relievers) doesn’t need more than a couple of weeks to be game ready by opening day.
It’s time for Kenley’s vacation to come to an end. Opening day is only a few weeks away and the Dodgers are going to need him to be prepared. Kenley’s 68.1 innings pitched in 2017 is the third most innings tossed in his eight season MLB career. Jansen threw 68.2 innings in 2016 and threw 76.2 innings in 2013 which is still the most frames he’s thrown since he made his MLB debut back in 2010.