Dodgers News: Kenley Jansen ‘Motivated’ By Mariano Rivera’s Unanimous Selection Into Baseball Hall Of Fame
Alex Trautwig-MLB Photos

Legendary New York Yankees closer and MLB all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera was one of four players recently elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rivera made history in that he was the first to ever be unanimously selected.

The news of Rivera’s induction pleased Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who has long looked up to him given their similar tendencies on the mound. “That’s awesome,” Jansen shared.

“For a reliever, a closer, it feels great. And I feel like it motivated me even more, because he’s the best in the game. Why can’t we try to be close to him? That’s my motivation. Just push myself to get better everyday.

“First thing first, is to help this team win a championship. Everything else will take care of itself.”

The comparisons between Jansen and Rivera are natural. Both pitchers made a name for themselves deploying the cutter as their go-to pitch, generating high strikeout rates while limiting walks.

One area in which Rivera holds a clear advantage over Jansen is World Series championships. Over the span of 19 seasons with the Yankees, Rivera captured five of them.

Coming off back-to-back defeats in the Fall Classic, Jansen, at least, has a taste of what it’s like pitching in baseball’s biggest stage. In nine appearances, he owns a 3.55 ERA with 11 strikeouts against three walks.

Despite not yet being able to win one himself, Jansen has caught the eye of Rivera in recent years. During the 2017 World Series, Rivera praised Jansen for his ability to attack hitters.