If you ask Kenley Jansen, a natural competitor and his own biggest critic, if he was happy with his 2018 results, his answer would almost certainly be no. The Dodgers famed closer wanted more for himself and for his team last year and he will have an opportunity to do that in the upcoming season.
Over the offseason, Jansen had a heart operation to repair an irregular heartbeat experienced while the team was in Colorado. It is Jansen’s second time receiving the surgery.
But, despite going under the knife, he seems to have turned a new leaf.
Jansen showed up to Camelback Ranch considerably skinnier than he was when the World Series ended last year and that could be both good and bad.
First, the good. Jansen’s health is number one. He had a heart issue last year and cutting some weight can only help with that. If Jansen’s goal in the weight loss was simply to protect his health, there is no arguing it is bad.
Purely from a baseball standpoint, one could argue that losing weight for a big-bodied, hard-throwing pitcher is not the most optimal move. Losing weight essentially puts less behind the ball because the pitcher does not have the same amount of mass coming down the mound as he once did.
The big determining factor in all of this will be Jansen in game action. Once we see him throw and watch his velocity, the picture on how good or bad the weight cut was will become much clearer.