Tag:Kenley Jansen
Posted on: May 24, 2011 1:13 am
Edited on: May 24, 2011 1:14 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Thome returns with pair of homers

Jim Thome

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Jim Thome, Twins
-- For all the talk of Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Chase Utley making their returns on Monday, it was Jim Thome who stole their thunder. Although Hamilton and Cruz each homered, Thome homered twice and upped his career total to 593. Before Monday, the Twins had managed just six homers at Target Field all season.

Corey Hart, Brewers -- Think two homers is good? Try three. That's how many Hart hit on Monday in the Brewers' 11-3 victory over the Nationals. Hart, who missed most of April on the disabled list with a  strained oblique muscle hadn't hit a homer since coming off the DL and was hitting just .237/.275/.329 with one RBI in 81 plate appearances. He was also hitless in his last 11 at-bats cooing into Monday. He broke through against the Nationals, racking up seven RBI on his three homers. His second homer gave him 100 for his career.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians -- If you haven't taken notice of the Indians' shortstop, you should. He may be the MVP of the first quarter of the season. After a 5-for-5 performance with two homers on Sunday, Cabrera hit another homer and then drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth to beat the Red Sox 3-2 at Progressive Field.


Bronson Arroyo, Reds -- If Edinson Volquez was sent to Triple-A for his outing against the Indians on Sunday, perhaps Arroyo should be checking out real estate in the California League. It turned out the slumping Phillies offense didn't need Chase Utley, but Arroyo, who allowed nine runs on 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. 

Kenley Jansen, Dodgers -- Now the Dodgers closer, Jansen came into Monday's game a perfect 5 for 5 in save opportunities in his brief career. Well, as you can tell from his presence here, he's now 5 for 6. With the Dodgers leading 3-1, Jansen gave up a one-out single to Bill Hall before striking out pinch-hitter Matt Downs. He then walked Angel Sanchez in an 11-pitch at-bat and with two men on, he ignored the runners, allowing a double steal. Michael Bourn tied the game with a double before hitting Clint Barmes. Hunter Pence then singled, allowing the speedy Bourn to score and give the Astros a 4-3 victory.

Bob Geren, Athletics -- How many times does a pitcher have to fail before his manager loses confidence in him? Well, that's a good question for the A's manager. Brian Fuentes entered Monday's game having lost five of the seven tie games he entered. With the A's and Angeles tied at 1, who did Geren bring out for the eighth inning? Brian Freakin' Fuentes. He walked the first batter he faced and got Bobby Abreu to ground into a fielder's choice before being replaced by Michael Wuertz. Not the worst performance, but when Torii Hunter doubled to score Abreu, Fuentes was charged with a run and the loss. He is now 1-7 on the season and is the third reliever with seven losses in the first 48 games of a season, joining Jim Kern in 1980 and Gene Garber in 1979.

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 8:03 pm
 

Dodgers search for another closer

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Vicente PadillaAlready on their third closer of the season, the Dodgers will be searching for No. 4, as Vicente Padilla has been placed on the disabled list with a stiff right forearm.

Padilla will join Jonathan Broxton (bruised elbow) and Hong-Chih Kuo (anxiety disorder) on the DL, along with Blake Hawksowrth (strained right groin).

The Dodgers will have to use Matt Guerrier and Kenley Jansen as their primary closers, with Mike MacDougal also in the mix. Guerrier picked up the save on Tuesday, but manager Don Mattingly has said matchups would dictate which of the two -- Guerrier or Jansen -- would close.

Los Angeles called up Ramon Troncoso from Triple-A. The right-hander has allowed 12 hits to the 17 batters he's faced this season -- for those of you not down with stats, that's not good. In 2 2/3 innings, he's given up six runs -- but hasn't walked (or struck out) a batter, so there's that.

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Posted on: May 4, 2011 4:04 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2011 4:13 pm
 

Struggling Broxton admits elbow hurting

Broxton

By Evan Brunell

Jonathan Broxton's struggles finally have an answer.

Broxton reported that his right elbow has been hurting for some time, which means the Dodgers now know why Broxton was throwing 90 mph instead of his usual 96 Tuesday night when he offered back-to-back four-pitch walks while registering just one out. Blake Hawksworth would come on to cough up the two inherited runs plus one of his own in the top ninth as the Cubs walked away with a 4-1 victory. Now, Broxton has been shut down pending the outcome of a MRI.

"Brox came in to complain about stuff, finally," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said to MLB.com. It's honorable he's willing to pitch like this, but in the end, it doesn't do him any good and it's not fair to him and really everybody else, either. If you can't pitch the way you're capable of, it's too tough to pitch like that here."

Here's where things start to break down. Broxton had an unsightly 7.58 ERA from June 28 through the rest of 2010, but the Dodgers don't seem to have bothered to investigate why Broxton stunk up the joint so much, nor did they pursue the issue in the offseason. Instead, Broxton was left to his own devices to pitch through what he earlier termed normal discomfort felt over the course of a season. In L.A.'s defense, it can't be responsible for tracking every possible injury with each player. But this was consistent failure spanning two seasons for someone in which the Dodgers have a great deal of money invested to perform a high-leverage role. The Dodgers simply have to do a better job investigating issues where there's constant red flags -- and need to do a better job communicating to players to speak up if something hurts.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers will now go to a closer-by-committee, but there's no clear leader there. Hong-Chih Kuo was rushed back from injury in an attempt to fix the bullpen and is still getting his sea legs under him while Vincente Padilla cannot be used on back-to-back days as he recovers from arm surgery. (In games where Padilla has at least one day of rest, bet on him getting the save call.) The team can't turn to Kenley Jansen either, as he was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Kuo. Jansen could fill the closer's role well as he's punched out 22 batters in 13 1/3 innings that don't include his two worst outings of the season when he gave up nine of 11 overall runs on the season to hand him a 7.43 ERA. Jansen will likely get the call if and when Broxton is placed on the DL.

"I'm going to deal with what we have," Mattingly added. "We have [Matt] Guerrier, [Blake] Hawksworth, [Mike] MacDougal."

But first, Mattingly had more pressing matters to attend to: finding a MRI tube large enough to fit the 300-pound Broxton.

"I'm serious," Mattingly said.

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Posted on: April 20, 2011 1:47 am
 

3 up, 3 down for 4/19: Shields goes distance

By Matt Snyder

There really wasn't enough room here tonight with lots of really good and really bad performances throughout the baseball world. Apologies to Brett Anderson, the Orioles, the Braves, Randy Wolf and a host of others who brought it.

As for those who were spared, it was a long list, too. Among them: Tigers' pitchers, Paul Maholm, Hideki Okajima and Mother Nature.

It's just that we only have three spots in this subjective endeavor.

3UP

James Shields, Rays. He said after the game it had "been a long time," which was true -- as Shields hadn't thrown a complete game since June of 2008. That's exactly what he did Tuesday against the White Sox, netting his first win of the year. He struck out nine while only allowing four hits and an earned run. He's actually been dominant at home so far, sporting a 1.54 ERA in three starts -- adding 20 strikeouts.

Ryan Roberts, Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old utility man is making it impossible for Kirk Gibson to leave him out of the lineup. After going 2-3 with two home runs, two runs and three RBI in a 5-4 win at Cincinnati, Roberts raised his season average to .382 with four home runs, 10 RBI and seven runs in just 39 plate apperances. His on-base percentage is .462.

Angels' offense. Mark Trumbo went 3-5 with a double, home run, two runs and four RBI. Peter Bourjos went 4-5 with a double, home run, three runs and three RBI. The team as a whole battered the Rangers' pitching staff for 15 runs on 15 hits and drew six walks. Meanwhile, the Angels have now won 10 of 13 games and have tied the once red-hot Rangers for first in the AL West. Oh, and the cherry on top? Vernon Wells went 2-5 with a double. He's now hit safely in his past six games. He's also seven for his last 17 (.412) with two doubles and a triple.

3DOWN


Carl Pavano, Twins. I guess we aren't going to have any middle ground here. Pavano is either stellar (16 innings, one earned run in his two good starts) or awful (8 2/3 innings, 14 earned runs in his two bad starts). Tuesday it was the Orioles' offense inflating their stats against Pavano, knocking him around for eight hits and seven runs in 4 2/3 frames.

Kenley Jansen and Ramon Troncoso, Dodgers. The Dodgers entered the top of the ninth with some hope of winning the game. It was only 2-1 Braves. Sure, flamethrower Craig Kimbrel was awaiting the lower part of the order for the bottom half, but you never know. It was only one run. Well, then Jansen and Troncoso happened. Here's how the top of the ninth read, play-by-play: walk, home run, walk, fly out, single, single, homer, double, single, single, single ... and, mercifully, double play to end it. All told, that's eight runs on eight hits and two walks. There was a wild pitch in there. And the hits weren't cheap. Everything was hit hard. Freddie Freeman's double was of the ground-rule variety. Frankly, I'm glad it ended when it did, because it was getting uncomfortable to watch.

Adam Dunn, White Sox. There's no way of knowing if there is a correlation between Dunn's struggles and coming back very quickly from an appendectomy. But after Shields made him look pretty dumb Tuesday night (0-4 with three strikeouts), Dunn is now 2-23 with 14 strikeouts since making his return.

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Posted on: September 5, 2010 11:20 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2010 11:22 pm
 

Broxton won't be used in save situations

Jonathan Broxton Not that it came up in Sunday's 3-0 loss to the Giants, but Joe Torre said before the game that he would no longer use Jonathan Broxton in save situations.

"I think we have to just put him in situations not in the ninth inning, I mean a save situation in the ninth inning," Torre told MLB.com . "And just try to get some appearances under his belt. Wherever we go, whether we're going to get to the postseason or not, I think this is very important: that he finishes this season with a good taste in his mouth."

Broxton gave up a two-run homer to Juan Uribe in the ninth inning on Saturday, his sixth blown save in 28 opportunities.

Torre had replaced Broxton with Hong-Chih Kuo as his closer, although he was still using Broxton in some matchup situations and when Kuo was unavailable. That duty will now fall to rookie Kenley Jansen.

Broxton is under contract for $7 million next season. Broxton is 5-5 with a 3.70 ERA and 22 saves.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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