Dodgers News: Kenley Jansen Named National League Reliever Of The Month For July-August
Kenley Jansen
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball announced Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen was named the National League Reliever of the Month for July and August. Oakland Athletics closer Liam Hendriks took home honors in the American League.

There were a lot of concerns surrounding Jansen going into the season after arguably the worst year of his career in 2019, although to this point he has done a nice job silencing those questions.

In 18 games this season, Jansen has an MLB-leading 10 saves in 11 opportunities to go along with a 1.20 ERA, 2.48 FIP and 0.80 WHIP with 22 strikeouts and eight walks in 16 innings. He struggled hours after being recognized but the Dodgers rallied for a walk-off win.

Jansen was a big part of the team going 21-7 in August, appearing in 13 games and recording eight out of nine save opportunities. He also had a 1.54 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in the month, striking out 19 and walking just four in 11.2 innings, striking out an impressive 43.2% of batters faced.

“Continuing to get better,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Jansen’s progression this season. “The stuff, the characteristics, there’s more consistency with that. The command has been better, the pace on the mound is better. It’s good for Kenley to have that success and get named Reliever of the Month.”

Jansen has been the anchor of a Dodgers bullpen that has been the best in the NL this season, leading the league in ERA (2.11), WHIP (0.99) and batting average against (.191).

The NL and AL Reliever of the Month awards began in 2017, and this marks the second time Jansen has won it. His first was for June of 2017.

Jansen on a misson in 2020

Considering how many people have doubted him in recent years, it is clear that Jansen came into the 2020 season on a mission to get back into the conversation as the best reliever in baseball. He was left off MLB Network’s The Shredder top 10 reliever list for the first time in a while.

He has made it clear his lone focus is on winning the World Series.

What makes Jansen’s season so impressive to this point is also that he dealt with coronavirus (COVID-19) before reporting to Summer Camp. While he is healthy and in midseason form now, he did not have a long ramp-up period like many other pitchers to get ready for the 2020 season.

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