Rockies @ Dodgers May 15, 2015: KENLEY

KENLEY. Today, the Dodgers activated Kenley Jansen and sent Daniel Coulombe back to Oklahoma City, which is a sentence I should probably just save because it will be used 20 more times this season.

Rockies
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles, Ca.
LF
Blackmon
CF
Pederson
SS
Tulowitzki
SS
Rollins
3B
Arenado
2B
Kendrick
1B
Rosario
1B
Gonzalez
RF
Gonzalez
3B
Turner
C
Hundley
C
Grandal
CF
Stubbs
RF
Ethier
SS
LeMahieu
LF
Van Slyke
P
Butler(R)
P
Kershaw (L)

We’ve talked about how good the bullpen has been, but sometimes I’m not sure we’ve really respected what it’s meant that Yimi Garcia, Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell, Juan Nicasio and friends have done without Jansen. I mean, this has been, by at least one measure, the best bullpen in baseball. Now, they’re adding a pitcher who never seems to get the full credit he deserves.

Jansen isn’t Aroldis Chapman or Craig Kimbrel, but he’s not terribly far off, either. Between 2012-14, he was fourth in reliever WAR, behind that pair and Greg Holland. He’s coming off a 1.91 FIP, and somehow that’s only the third-best of his career. In 287.2 innings, he’s whiffed 448 hitters. He is obscenely, insanely, remarkably good, and he’s joining a bullpen that’s been incredible without him.

Now, obviously, we’re talking about only a month of performance, and now that bullpen is without Pedro Baez and has Yimi Garcia going through a rough patch. (Also, Joel Peralta seems to have fallen off the face of the earth.) I don’t really think this group is better than, say, a Royals outfit that includes Holland, Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, Jason Frasor, and Luke Hochevar. It’s been really, really effective, however, and so much more than you’d have expected.

Now it adds Jansen, who’s unquestionably among the game’s elite. It’s a nice thing to have drop in your lap on May 15.

* * *

I’m at least slightly torn tonight, because I want Clayton Kershaw to do well, if for no other reason than that it would go a long way towards silencing the insane questions of “what’s wrong with Kershaw,” but then if he does, that’s going to open up a whole can of worms about A.J. Ellis, since Yasmani Grandal is behind the plate. This is Grandal’s fifth start in a row, though, and seventh in the last eight games, so there’s no question about who the “starter” is, and there shouldn’t even be any questions about whether Grandal can catch Kershaw, since this is the third time he’s doing so.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.