Saturday, April 14, 2012

Too soon to worry about Kenley Jansen's velocity?

Probably, but his decreased velocity is noticeable.

Depending on which website's data you choose to go with, Kenley Jansen's velocity is down 1 to 2 MPH from last season.

Last season, according to Texas Leaguers, Jansen's average velocity on his cut fastball was 93.1 MPH and according to FanGraphs, it was 93.3 MPH. This season, his velocity is 91.6 and 92.2 MPH respectively.

Click to enlarge

It was especially noticeable on Friday night against San Diego. Jansen was sitting at 89-91 MPH while touching 92 MPH a couple times. Now, that's not to say he can't be effective at that velocity, but with his control issues at times, it makes him more prone to hitters capitalizing on his mistakes.

Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. asked manager Don Mattingly about Jansen's velocity dip.
"'Kenley's different. There have been times early on where he gets tentative or gets off kilter, and the ball doesn't come out the same way. We'll continue to pay attention to his mechanics. The ninth is different than the eighth, so we'll pay attention to that too ... As long as Kenley is not hurt, then we're not concerned.'"
Tony Jackson of ESPN L.A. also gave a little insight into Jansen's decreased velocity.
"'I've been battling the flu, but that's not an excuse at all ... You still have to make good pitches and keep us in the game and try to help the team win. That is what it's all about.'"
So when Jansen's throwing 94 t0 96 MPH cutters in a couple weeks, this will have been for naught.

It was also especially hilarious to read the recaps by Jon Weisman and Chad Moriyama of the Twitter freak out after Chase Headley hit that game-tying 2-run home run in the ninth. I wonder if the folks will say the same thing when Javy Guerra blows a save...


  1. I'm not gonna freak out, but I am a bit worried about the velocity. The other thing I noticed was the movement on the cut fastball. The pitches seemed to be very straight. A couple of them bent in, but most of them looked very hittable. I think a good offensive team would have lit Kenley up.

  2. Everybody loses velocity over time but over the course of 1 year that way is something to be concerned about.

    It's not panick worthy but, you're right, you can't give a MLB hitter ANYTHING! That extra milli-second can be the difference between an Out and a Blown Save. I don't believe, though, that a pitcher can't be effective if he's not throwing 100 mph.

    Mattingly not being worried is a good sign. Jansen is young and so is the season. He's got plenty of time to figure it out. Let's hope he gets it sooner rather than later.

    Aside from that, how bout them Dodgers!?

  3. I'm more worried about the fact that he's already given up two jacks so far, which is something he extremely seldomly did last season. Then again, I'm not sure if anyone remembers but he had an AWFUL April last year too, and he ended up setting an MLB single season record for Ks/9. I think he's just a slow starter.