Dodgers News: Kenley Jansen Ranked 3rd Best Reliever By ESPN’s Buster Olney
Dodgers News: Kenley Jansen Ranked 3rd Best Reliever By Espn’s Buster Olney
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest concern for the Los Angeles Dodgers over the last two seasons in both the regular season and postseason has been their bullpen.

While the bullpen collectively struggled at times in 2014 and 2015, closing out games in the ninth inning hasn’t been much of an issue with the Dodgers able to turn to closer Kenley Jansen.

Despite his success, Jansen has been left off All-Star teams and often cast aside when it comes to national recognition.

Some of that changed with ESPN’s Buster Olney ranking the hard-throwing right-hander as the third-best relief pitcher in the Majors:

3. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers

When you’re on a team that includes Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez and you play a position that draws the most notice when you fail rather than succeed, it’s not surprising that Jansen’s work tends to go unnoticed. He deserves better, and might be the best example of a reliever who, like Mariano Rivera, succeeds with one pitch, his cut fastball, which swerves into the hands of left-handed hitters and darts away from right-handed hitters.

Last season, opponents batted only .176 against him, with a .215 on-base percentage. Only Wade Davis produced a lower OBP among all relievers with at least 40 innings.

The 28-year-old Jansen missed the first month of the 2015 season as he recovered from offseason foot surgery. He quickly made up for lost time upon being reinstated from the disabled list and finished tied for ninth overall with 36 saves.

Among full-time closers Jansen finished tied for first with only two blown saves last season. He finished with a 2.41 ERA, and led all relievers who threw 40 or more innings with a 0.78 WHIP.

Jansen also had an impressive 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings, to go with an average of 1.4 walks per nine innings. Olney ranked Wade Davis of the Kansas City Royals the best reliever, and Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman second overall.

Chapman was linked to the Dodgers as the club works to solidify their bullpen this offseason.