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Dodgers Promote Relief Pitcher Kenley Jansen
In a move to help bolster the bullpen, the Dodger promoted right-handed pitcher Kenley Jansen from Double-A Chattanooga and designated right-handed pitcher Justin Miller for assignment. “He’s been on the radar screen for a while,” manager Joe Torre said. “His makeup is the reason he’s here right now. The stuff is part of it. The makeup is a big part of why you’re going to take this step with him now.”
As for his stuff, Torre has taken notice is Jansen’s fastball.
“I’d say in the upper-95 plus,” Torre said about the velocity of Jansen’s fastball. “His stuff is pretty impressive. He’s still trying to make his off-pitches better, but his fastball is pretty impressive.”
Jansen converted from a catcher to a pitcher during the 2009 season and was added to the 40-man roster on November 18, 2009.
“This is something he has aspired to be,” general manager Ned Colletti said. “He was open to instruction from the very beginning. We had to put him on the roster and take a chance on his arm.”
Jansen will be used in a variety of roles from the bullpen.
“He’s been a closer,” Torre said. “I’m not saying that is what’s going to happen here. We’ll use him in the latter part of the game.”
However with Hong-Chih Kuo unavailable out of the bullpen from pitching Tuesday and Thursday night peppered with warming up in the bullpen Wednesday night and Jonathan Broxton coming off of a stomach ailment last night, Torre conceded he is entertaining using Jansen as a closer in tonight’s game against the New York Mets if need be.
“We’re liable to,” Torre answered when asked about that possibility.
But Broxton is feeling better taking part in the routine stretches and tosses in the bullpen during batting practice.
“He’s better,” Torre said of Broxton’s condition. “He’s got a little bit of color in his face as he puts it.”
TRADE TALK!!!! With all of this shuffling, Colletti is still looking for trades to help bolster the pitching staff.
“We have a lot of things going on,” Colletti said. “I’m waiting to hear more response to what we’ve talked about. I don’t owe anybody a call; everybody owes me a call.”
When asked to enumerate the amount of calls Colletti joked, “Less than 30, more than one.”
The obvious focus of emphasis is on pitching both in the bullpen and for a starter.
“We still need to upgrade our pitching, either the bullpen or starter,” Colletti said.
However that doesn’t preclude the sudden need for an outfielder.
“The outfield has become a little bit more of a concern than in the past not just because of Manny but also because of Reed Johnson,” Colletti said. “But not to the extent that we’re going to forego the pitching for the outfield.”
As for the annual rumors of Colletti’s hands being tied for fiscal reasons, he wouldn’t elaborate.
“If it makes sense as a baseball deal, then I’ll do it,” Colletti said. “Am I going to pick up an exorbitant salary and give up a fistful of prospects? I wouldn’t do that under any condition.”
In the end Colletti is a patient man.
“I say it every year,” Colletti said. “We’re eight days away. Eight days is like eight weeks.
“It doesn’t mean that on July 31 if nothing happens by then that it’s over. It’s a little bit tougher to do when August 1 hits, but not impossible.”