GLENDALE, Ariz. — Kenley Jansen threw a cutter more than 85% of the time during the 2017 season. But when he faced Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman in Game 4 of the World Series, with two outs in the ninth inning of a game the Los Angeles Dodgers led by five runs, he was surprised by the way Bregman reacted to his two-strike slider, a pitch Jansen was throwing for only the 94th time all year.
“I’ve never seen a hitter sit on [my] slider,” Jansen said before the Dodgers’ second official workout on Saturday morning. “I threw a slider to Bregman, and he took me deep. Even if it was not a good pitch — hitters don’t seem to sit on my off-speed, on the best year that I had. But it is what it is, man.”
Jansen, speaking a day after Cody Bellinger torched the Astros for their sign-stealing practices, wanted to keep the focus on the 2020 season, a particularly exciting one for the Dodgers after bringing in Mookie Betts and David Price. But Jansen couldn’t help but voice his frustration over one of the greatest cheating scandals in baseball’s prolonged history.
Jansen believes using technology to steal catchers’ signs — and, specific to the Astros, using a center-field…