Red Sox sign Kenley Jansen

BigJay

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Just something on MLB network that may be cause for concern. He was one of the slowest pitchers last year both with/without runners on, almost double the new limit with the pitch timer going into effect next season.
 

8slim

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The point of course is that every WS team had a dominant closer. Whether Jansen is the next one is yet to be determined but personally I like the idea of having a 9th inning guy.
Agree. Pitchers are human beings and a lot of them seem to really crave set roles. I know all about high leverage and the analytics-driven logic behind “closer by committee” but that simply doesn’t always work given personalities, routines and emotions.
 

jasail

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Contenders are always willing to overpay for established relievers to bolster their pens for the stretch run. For that reason, I don't hate it. I actually think it's a pretty good reboot strategy for teams with the payroll flexibility to do it.
 

JM3

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3rd slowest average pitch time in the majors last year. Will be interesting.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/leaderboard/pitch-tempo
Kenley has been talking about how slow he is lately:

“As much as I want to compete for the World Baseball Classic, I just want to make sure — knowing that I’m the slowest guy in the league — I want to adapt to that quickly,” Jansen said here at JetBlue Park on Wednesday. “That’s why I choose to make sure I’ll be here in camp. And like I say, get to know my teammates and also adapt to certain stuff.”
Definitely seems to be taking it seriously & hopefully he can adjust.

Jansen said he worked with a pitch timer during the offseason to prepare.

“It’s gonna be challenging on both sides,” Jansen said. “It’s not only going to be on pitchers but I think hitters are going to be uncomfortable too. Sometimes when they fall behind 0-2 or 0-1 quick, they take their time too. So it’s both ways. So both ways have to adapt. It’s not only pitchers. So it’s gonna feel fast, and we all gotta go figure out how to slow the game down in certain ways to not let the game speed up on you and things get out of hand.”
https://www.masslive.com/redsox/2023/02/what-red-soxs-kenley-jansen-slowest-guy-in-the-league-said-about-new-pitch-timer.html
 

LogansDad

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I agree with him that it doesn't just fall on the pitchers. I have seem just as many hitters take auto strikes as I have seen awarded balls for the pitchers being slow. I think anyone who hasn't seen a game with the pitch clock yet is going to be stunned at the difference.
 

joe dokes

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Since admission of a problem is the first step toward resolution of that problem, it's encouraging that Jansen's attacking the clock business head-on, without voicing complaint or irritation. Treating it more like a challenge, which is probably a better approach for most hyper-competitive pro athletes.
 

EyeBob

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Since admission of a problem is the first step toward resolution of that problem, it's encouraging that Jansen's attacking the clock business head-on, without voicing complaint or irritation. Treating it more like a challenge, which is probably a better approach for most hyper-competitive pro athletes.
Gotta say, from what little I have seen of Jansen, I like him a person. Seems like a guy I can really root for.
 

Al Zarilla

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soxhop411

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The Gray Eagle

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Jansen seems like a good dude (though obviously none of us on the outside would really know) and a lot of people that used to play with him have congratulated him on this milestone, which they might not have bothered to do if he was a miserable guy to deal with.
Anyway, he's been great so far, singlehandedly making a huge improvement over the back of last year's bullpen. May he continue to chuck 98 mph gas and rack up many more saves.
 

JM3

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I read that as they gave him a fish before scrolling down. This makes more sense.
 

LogansDad

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Weird to have Rick Honeycut's wife and kids in the video, but it seems like they clearly love this guy, putting all this together.
 

koufax32

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I’m getting the sense that he was signed because he’s good at baseball and he’s a fantastic teammate and an awesome clubhouse culture guy.
 

soxhop411

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I’m getting the sense that he was signed because he’s good at baseball and he’s a fantastic teammate and an awesome clubhouse culture guy.
yup.. The Clubhouse dynamic seems completely different compared to last year
 

Van Everyman

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yup.. The Clubhouse dynamic seems completely different compared to last year
I loved Xander and miss him, but I do wonder whether him being in limbo last year contributed to that. I mean we heard about it all year.

The Athletic article I linked up thread, suggests that Jensen has always been a good teammate, but Kike has a quote where he says that he is much more vocal now since he got therapy starting in 2020. So I actually wonder whether even the Red Sox are may be a little surprised by his presence in the clubhouse.
 

Sin Duda

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I actually expected some boos when Gagne showed up on the screen in that tribute video (I know I booed), but then remembered ball players don't feel the passionate hatred for putrid performers who stole a WS ring like we fans do.
 

TapeAndPosts

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I actually expected some boos when Gagne showed up on the screen in that tribute video (I know I booed), but then remembered ball players don't feel the passionate hatred for putrid performers who stole a WS ring like we fans do.
Gagne was putrid in half a season for us. He was an excellent reliever for the Dodgers for many years, multiple time All-Star, won a Cy Young award. He was the Dodgers all-time saves leader before Kenley surpassed him in 2016, and called him up to congratulate him when that milestone happened. The ballplayers remember his whole career, not just the three lousy months he had for us.
 

Archer1979

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Nice article on ESPN's website about Kenley Jansen and his work with a therapist. Also gave a glimpse into how he and the Red Sox matched up in the off-season when neither thought there was interest in the other.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/37596322/kenley-jansen-mental-health-boston-red-sox-closer

The moment that turned Jansen around didn't happen on the field; it wasn't a gut-punching blown save or a confidence-shattering home run allowed.

Instead, it was a conversation with his therapist in 2021, who had worked with Jansen long enough to know what he needed: a reality check.
 

Redkluzu

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HomeRunBaker

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Just something on MLB network that may be cause for concern. He was one of the slowest pitchers last year both with/without runners on, almost double the new limit with the pitch timer going into effect next season.
Hmmmm. Nice find back in Dec.
 

Max Power

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This article about the meltdown today is also worth reading. Because there's a paywall, hit me up at jean@trounstine.com and I will forward the cut and past version of "What happened to Kenley Jansen? A look at the rules violations that triggered the Red Sox closer’s blown save" https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/05/13/sports/what-happened-kenley-jansen-look-rules-violations-that-triggered-red-sox-closers-blown-save/
If Contreras had tried that with Pedro on the mound, he also would have reached base. He would just have a baseball sized bruise on his ribs to with it.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I honestly said out loud to my wife last night after Sale finished the 8th- “ALEX, DO NOT GO WITH JENSEN TONIGHT”!!! I thought he needed a full day away after his Thursdays meltdown. Would have went with Martin there. 100% knew how that inning was going to unfold.
 

bosockboy

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I honestly said out loud to my wife last night after Sale finished the 8th- “ALEX, DO NOT GO WITH JENSEN TONIGHT”!!! I thought he needed a full day away after his Thursdays meltdown. Would have went with Martin there. 100% knew how that inning was going to unfold.
Same. Should’ve had someone warning from jump and pulled after the 4 pitch walk.
 

SouthernBoSox

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I also thought it was strange in real time.

He has had a flare up with back issues this year.

His stuff looked very flat compared to previous outings.

It was his third appearance in four days.

It seemed like they really forced it to try and get the taste out of his mouth. I thought Martin seemed like a no brainer given it was against their top 3 hitters - all right handed. It was an odd and poor decision imo. In a year Cora has been fantastic this decision sticks out.
 

LogansDad

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Hmmmm. Nice find back in Dec.
Sure, except Kenley has seemed to adjust to the pitch clock just fine for the first month and a half, and, forgive me if I am wrong (I get blacked out of St Louis games), but the issue yesterday was that he got dinged for pitching too fast to Contreras, right?
 

SouthernBoSox

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Sure, except Kenley has seemed to adjust to the pitch clock just fine for the first month and a half, and, forgive me if I am wrong (I get blacked out of St Louis games), but the issue yesterday was that he got dinged for pitching too fast to Contreras, right?
Yea it was literally the exact opposite which is why you can tell who does and who does not watch the games.

For those who don’t…it was a very weird situation that was extremely confusing at the time. He was getting clock violations with plenty of time in the clock.

The hitter was coming set but leaving one foot barely out of the box.

It seemed very silly and I think it’s something they’ll address within the rules. This isn’t really the goal of the pitch clock.

I found it very unfair.
 

joe dokes

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Sure, except Kenley has seemed to adjust to the pitch clock just fine for the first month and a half, and, forgive me if I am wrong (I get blacked out of St Louis games), but the issue yesterday was that he got dinged for pitching too fast to Contreras, right?
Yes. And Contreras freely admitted that he's been doing the "I'm looking at the pitcher with more than 8 seconds on the clock so I look 'ready,' but since my foot is ever so slightly out of the box I'm not officially 'ready,'" thing somewhat regularly to take advantage of that rule, which was itself a tweak of the rule to keep pitchers from quick-pitching as soon as the hitter looked up.
 

LogansDad

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Contreras will likely get one in the ribs today.

Or should.
I thought about this today, and it was my first thought.

I went back to watch the video, since I didn't see it in real time yesterday, but really it's on the league to figure out how to fix it. Contreras isn't doing anything wrong, IMO.

I am a little stumped as to what the fix would be, though. The ump is calling it as soon as Kenley comes set, why not let him start his motion before calling it? It's a tough one, I think, because you don't want pitchers quick pitching the hitters, but I would say that once the clock passes the 8 second mark it should be fair game for pitching the ball, regardless of how long the batter has been "ready". Let the pitcher come set, whenever he wants, and he can pitch a tick after the batter is "ready" (again, whatever that means), or at 8 seconds.

I suspect we might see Contreras get drilled, though, because rich people playing sports get their feelings hurt easily.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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I initially had that reaction, but we don’t need that stuff anymore. After thinking about it, it seems to me that he found a loophole and used it to his advantage. Gamesmanship and stuff. I expect the league to address this going forward.
Of course, you're right, but it's also gamesmanship to pitch inside. Sometimes you hit guys doing that. That's baseball. Maybe the hitter will focus more on the incoming pitch next time than trying to remember the steps and timing for the new TikTok dance.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

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Of course, you're right, but it's also gamesmanship to pitch inside. Sometimes you hit guys doing that. That's baseball. Maybe the hitter will focus more on the incoming pitch next time than trying to remember the steps and timing for the new TikTok dance.
Pitching inside is different than intentionally hitting a player as you originally proposed.
 

BaseballJones

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I thought about this today, and it was my first thought.

I went back to watch the video, since I didn't see it in real time yesterday, but really it's on the league to figure out how to fix it. Contreras isn't doing anything wrong, IMO.

I am a little stumped as to what the fix would be, though. The ump is calling it as soon as Kenley comes set, why not let him start his motion before calling it? It's a tough one, I think, because you don't want pitchers quick pitching the hitters, but I would say that once the clock passes the 8 second mark it should be fair game for pitching the ball, regardless of how long the batter has been "ready". Let the pitcher come set, whenever he wants, and he can pitch a tick after the batter is "ready" (again, whatever that means), or at 8 seconds.

I suspect we might see Contreras get drilled, though, because rich people playing sports get their feelings hurt easily.
The fix is easy. A pitcher can come set anytime he wants during the process. But he can't start his motion until the batter is IN THE BOX and READY. But the INSTANT the batter meets those conditions, the pitcher can let it ride. If the batter wants to play games like that, he's welcome to, but he'd better be ready the moment he officially gets ready.

And with Jansen, actually, his delivery time is very slow so it's not like the batter DOESN'T have time to hit.

But it's a super easy fix.

So yes, I think you have it right.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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The fix is easy. A pitcher can come set anytime he wants during the process. But he can't start his motion until the batter is IN THE BOX and READY. But the INSTANT the batter meets those conditions, the pitcher can let it ride. If the batter wants to play games like that, he's welcome to, but he'd better be ready the moment he officially gets ready.

And with Jansen, actually, his delivery time is very slow so it's not like the batter DOESN'T have time to hit.

But it's a super easy fix.

So yes, I think you have it right.
I think this is where I’m at. I don’t understand any concept of “ready” but not quite “ready enough.” Ready or not ready. The pitcher ought to be able to let it fly as soon as the batter is ready. And if that means standing at the set position for an extra second or two but no more, that should be fine.
 

BaseballJones

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I think this is where I’m at. I don’t understand any concept of “ready” but not quite “ready enough.” Ready or not ready. The pitcher ought to be able to let it fly as soon as the batter is ready. And if that means standing at the set position for an extra second or two but no more, that should be fine.
I don’t care if the pitcher comes to the set position with 13 seconds on the clock but the batter waits til 8 seconds to be ready. That’s the batter’s right. And if that screws the pitcher up, fine. But it should be the pitcher’s right to be set anytime he wants too. And if the batter takes his time, well, he’d just better be prepared the moment he’s actually ready.