Kenley Jansen says he feels stronger every week, but he’s still feeling the effects from the coronavirus. The biggest affect has been on his conditioning, as he still gets shortness of breath at times, more than a month after testing positive.
“All those months you work out so hard, then you have to shut it down for two weeks. Still today, I’m trying to get to 100%,” Jansen said on a conference call Wednesday. “It definitely takes a toll on your body. It’s not a virus to play around with.
“You see what it does to your body, and try to get back to normal but it takes some time.”
Jansen and his two kids all tested positive for COVID-19 in June, after which he quarantined at home. He reported to summer camp on July 12, after missing the first nine workouts at Dodger Stadium.
On the mound, Jansen on Wednesday allowed his first run in six appearances this season, and he’s converted all four save opportunities. Though the velocity on his cutter has averaged just 91 mph so far, down from 91.7 mph last year and 93-94 mph during his peak years.
“I’m not too concerned about the velocity,” manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday. “The command’s certainly better than it was last year at times, and I’m glad to see that performance has been good. Kenley’s in a good place, physically and mentally. I expect the stuff to continue to tick up.”
At its worst, Jansen said he experienced a terrible headache, chest pains, chills, a lack of energy, and his whole body was aching. Now at nearly full strength, he said he’s following all the health and safety protocols so he never gets the virus again.
“Even though I got it, you don’t know if you’re going to be infected again,” Jansen said. “I’m not going to take that for granted. I’m going to act like I never had it.”
- Jansen’s slider, which he’s thrown only eight times this season per Baseball Savant, was among the featured items of Eno Sarris at The Athletic highlighting pitchers unveiling new pitches this season, for its new characteristics.
- MLB.com updated their top-100 prospect list this week, a list that includes five Dodgers, headlined by No. 2 overall prospect Gavin Lux.
- Jorge Castillo at the Los Angeles Times watched part of Tuesday’s Dodgers-Padres game from atop the rooftop bar at the Marriott across the street from Petco Park.
- Matthew Trueblood at Baseball Prospectus wrote about how pitchers are ahead of hitters in the early going this season.