Coming off a career season in 2017, Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen got off to a rough start in 2018 after being eased into things during Spring Training.
Jansen blew two of his first four save attempts, while also giving up a game-winning home run in another outing, causing many Dodger fans to panic about the two-time All-Star closer.
Since then though, Jansen has been lights out and on Sunday was named to his third All-Star game along with outfielder Matt Kemp.
Because of the rough start he got off to this season, Jansen called this All-Star nomination the most special of his three, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“It feels more special than the first two. Those I pretty much knew I’d be an All-Star, but this one, very slow April, I took all the criticism and put it on my shoulder and motivated me,” said Jansen. “This is special, to hear the players voted for you. I turned my season around, and it means a lot.”
Since that second blown save, Jansen is 22 of 23 in save attempts while posting a 1.26 ERA with 38 strikeouts and only 7 walks in 35.2 innings.
Overall in 40 games this season, Jansen has pitched to a 2.34 ERA, 2.93 FIP and 0.95 WHIP with 24 saves in 27 chances. He has 45 strikeouts and 10 walks in 42.1 innings.
In addition to Kemp and Jansen, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will manage the National League team, while Max Muncy has an opportunity to be added to the team as a part of the Final Vote. Ross Stripling is also a candidate to be added if any of the NL pitchers get injured or pitch the Sunday before the game.
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