Following a disappointing 2019 season, Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen must continue to adapt to produce. His once devastating cut fastball has steadily declined in velocity and effectiveness over the last few seasons. However, he has two other plus pitches — the sinker and slider — to lean on.
Returning to peak form is a stretch, but Jansen can still be a viable closer if he can learn to use his entire arsenal.
Kenley Jansen Average Cut Fastball Velocity (MPH)
- 2012: 92.6
- 2013: 93.1
- 2014: 94.3
- 2015: 93.1
- 2016: 94.2
- 2017: 93.5
- 2018: 92.7
- 2019: 92.1
Kenley Jansen, Insane 96mph Cutter Movement. ?? pic.twitter.com/LKFKUBEQYN
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 10, 2017
A Season of Change
For his first nine years with the Dodgers, Kenley fired a cutter at least 84% of the time. In 2019, Jansen threw his cutter just 74.2% of the time, using his slider and sinker more than ever to get outs. The stats weren’t pretty in 2019, but the stats omit a very relatable piece of the Kenley puzzle.
He had accomplished his job the same way for nine years and then, suddenly, had to make wholesale changes to his approach. Anyone in any job would initially…