Between his Spring Training appearances and his appearance on Opening Day, Kenley Jansen was bitten by the home run ball four times in ten innings. In 80.2 IP prior to Opening Day, Jansen had only given up three homers, and the homer trend was concerning enough to make the Dodgers coaching staff address a supposed mechanical flaw they found.
The Dodgers are hopeful that they’ve spotted a mechanical flaw in reliever Kenley Jansen that has led to the four home runs he has allowed in the last 10 innings.
Bullpen coach Ken Howell said pitching coach Rick Honeycutt determined through video comparison with last year that Jansen has been pushing off with a stiff right leg and not utilizing the lower half of his body, resulting in decreased velocity and movement.
The team seems to feel confident that they’ve fixed a flaw on Jansen, but did they?
It might be a bit hard to see in the GIFs, but either there was no mechanical flaw to actually fix or there’s a deeper issue at play here, because his mechanics look exactly the same.
I watched both of his performances this season live and didn’t notice a thing, but I figured maybe it was a repeatability issue, as in, maybe this was happening to him off and on. So I re-watched his appearances on video, but I didn’t see any variation there either. The mechanics he used on the home run to Cameron Maybin were the exact same as the ones he used to freeze Orlando Hudson.
The coaching staff surely has more information on the situation than me, but from my vantage point, the issue just seems to be a matter of sample size. Perhaps there actually is a deeper issue that’s leading to an increase in home runs allowed, but I don’t think it’s his mechanics.