Major League Baseball announced the finalists for the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award, with Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen among them.
Jansen won the award in both 2016 and 2017, but he has to be considered a longshot to three-peat. Other finalists are Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Josh Hader, who had a historic season; and Colorado Rockies closer Wade Davis, who led the NL in saves.
The 2018 season was a particularly difficult one for Jansen as he got off to a rough start, found his way and made a third straight All-Star team, but then dealt with a heart issue that caused him to miss time and struggle once again when he returned.
So for Jansen to be even nominated for his third straight Trevor Hoffman Award is truly a great accomplishment.
Jansen appeared in 69 games for the Dodgers this season, saving 38 games in 42 opportunities while posting a 3.01 ERA, 4.03 FIP and 0.99 WHIP. He struck out 82 while only walking 17 in 71.2 innings.
Hader wasn’t the primary closer for the Brewers, although he did save 12 games for them. He pitched to a 2.43 ERA, 2.23 FIP and 0.81 WHIP with 143 strikeouts and 30 walks in 81.1 innings across 55 appearances.
Davis may have led the NL with 43 saves, but he struggled to the tune of a 4.13 ERA, 3.65 FIP and 1.06 WHIP in 69 games. In 65.1 total innings, Davis struck out 78 and walked 26 hitters.
The Dodgers’ bullpen was a bit of a revolving door in 2018, so having Jansen lock down the back end was huge for Los Angeles.
This marks the fifth year that Reliever of the Year Awards have been given out. The finalists for the Mariano Rivera Award in the American League are Edwin Diaz of the Seattle Mariners, Craig Kimbrel of the Boston Red Sox and Blake Treinen of the Oakland Athletics.
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