Friday, June 2 2023

The Red Sox’ new closer will have to pick up the pace in 2023 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Red Sox shored up the back of their bullpen by signing closer Kenley Jansen to a two-year contract on Wednesday. After going with a closer-by-committee approach in 2022, they now have a clear go-to option in the ninth inning.

Jansen’s track record speaks for itself. The 35-year-old has three All-Star selections, a World Series title, and a two Reliever of the Year awards under his belt. Last season, he led the league in saves (41) while posting a 3.38 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.

Tomase: Kenley Jansen signing is exactly what the Red Sox needed

Next year, however, the 13-year veteran will be forced to make a significant change to his game.

Major League Baseball is set to implement a pitch clock in 2023 as part of its pace-of-play initiative. Pitchers will have 15 seconds to throw a pitch with the bases empty and 20 seconds with a runner on base. Hitters will need to be in the batter’s box with eight seconds on the pitch clock.

Jansen averaged a whopping 29.4 seconds between pitches last season, the third-longest amount of time among pitchers with at least 50 innings. He averaged 25.6 seconds with the bases empty and 31.4 seconds with runners on, per Baseball Savant.

In 2018, Jansen blasted MLB’s proposed pace-of-play rule changes.

“That’s ridiculous,” Jansen said, per the Los Angeles Times. “Football is four hours, four and a half hours. The Super Bowl was five hours. Listen man, baseball fans are not going to stop watching the game because the game is too long. Let’s stop that. I think that’s ridiculous.”

Ridiculous or not, it has become a reality. Jansen will have to adjust by cutting his time between pitches nearly in half.

For the sake of comparison, reliever Matt Barnes was the next-slowest pitcher on Boston’s roster last season. He averaged 22.8 seconds between pitches with bases empty and 26.6 with runners on base. The Red Sox’ other significant bullpen acquisition, Chris Martin, took 22.9 seconds with bases empty and and 25.9 with runners on.

Jansen is far from the only pitcher who will be forced to adapt. Still, it will be fascinating to see how such a significant change will impact him going forward.

Source: Yahoo Sports


The Yankees leave the Winter Meetings with Aaron Judge, what moves come next?


76ers' offseason additions have been underwhelming; can they find rhythm before season goes from bad to worse?

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

Denver, Miami expect $25 million in revenue from 2023 NBA Finals

Denver and Miami are projecting a maximum of $25 million in earned revenue from the 2023 NBA Finals, which includes expenses on hotels and rental cars, per the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Of course, the report excludes ticket sales and fan merchandise. The city’s economic competitiveness team is predicting that the NBA Finals will […]

Read More

Christian Encarnacion-Strand hits grand slam for Louisville Bats against Worcester

Cincinnati Reds prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand Christian Encarnacion-Strand, ranked among the Cincinnati Reds‘ top prospects, hit a grand slam Wednesday night for the Triple-A Louisville Bats in the bottom of the 8th inning of their 9-2 win against the Worcester Red Sox. The home run was Encarnacion-Strand’s 14th in 155 plate appearances over 33 games since […]

Read More

Nuggets vs Heat: NBA Finals prediction, picks, Game 1 odds, series odds, schedule

The NBA Finals are set! The Denver Nuggets will face the Miami Heat for a chance to win it all starting Thursday. Denver had the best record in the Western Conference this season and was considered a title favorite heading into the playoffs. On the other hand, the Heat needed two play-in games to advance […]

Read More