While Hanley keeps homerin’ for Team Dominican Republic, Kenley Jansen will get the chance to pitch for Team Kingdom of the Netherlands as they head to the Semifinals of the World Baseball Classic on Monday. The semifinal game will be held in San Francisco, and the Dodger reliever will be returning to Spring Training camp next Wednesday.
The Dutch team will now face off against Team Dominican Republic in the second semifinal game at 6 p.m. on Monday. The championship game will be on Tuesday at 5 p.m. Kenley Jansen is from the island of Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. The converted pitcher was once the starting catcher for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic back in 2009. Ironically, Jansen made a key play in the game which just happened to be against Team Dominican Republic. Jansen threw out Willy Taveras in the ninth inning on an attempted steal of third base.
The 25-year old right-hander underwent heart surgery in October in order to correct an irregular heartbeat. The procedure included cauterization of tissue within an
artery which caused the heart condition. Jansen has been working on his pitching mechanics this Spring which have been somewhat inconsistent over the past couple of seasons. We saw a dip in his velocity which had once been in the high-90s at times. Jansen’s cut fastball is one of the best in the game. With the offseason signing of Brandon League, Jansen’s role will be as a set-up man or high leverage situation arm in 2013 as long as League is successful as the closer. Even though I see Jansen as the rightful closer for the Dodgers, using him in high stakes game-on-the-line situations instead of in the eighth inning of every game will hopefully be Don Mattingly‘s plan.
So far this Spring, Jansen has pitched in 2 games at the Major League level in camp where he has not allowed a run. He’s struck out 1 batter, walked 2, and allowed no hits in 2 innings of work.
Perhaps we will see Hanley Ramirez bat against Kenley Jansen on Sunday.