Losing closer Kenley Jansen for the first month and a half of the season was a big blow for the Dodgers. It was announced before spring training that Jansen had a growth on the bone in his right foot. Kenley had offseason surgery to remove the growth from his foot, and the Dodgers had to use a closer by committee until he returned. The recovery time that was initially announced was anywhere from 4-8 weeks. It was possible that we wouldn’t see Kenley until sometime in early June. Fortunately Kenley returned early and was activated on May 15. The Dodgers rely very heavily on Kenley.
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
So far this season Kenley has been flawless. Jansen has pitched in 17 games this season and is 12 for 13 in save opportunities. Of those 17 appearances he’s only allowed a hit in seven of them. He’s posted a 2-0 record with a 1.08 ERA and 0.68 FIP. He could be having an Eric Gagne type season.
His numbers and performances have been amazing. He has been nothing short of dominating. During the stretch from May 15th until the present, Kenley has allowed just two earned runs on seven hits in 16.2 innings pitched. His strikeout to walk ratio is incredible. Actually he walked his first batter of the season on Tuesday night. Overall he’s whiffed 28 batters and walked just one.
He has a 15.1 strikeout per nine rate, and a 3.8 hits per nine rate. His WHIP is at 0.68. His ERA+ is 352.In comparison Gagne had four walks through his first 17 appearances during his Cy Young season in 2003. That was the year he went 55 for 55 in saves. If we compare Kenley’s opening 17 appearances this season to Gagne’s first 17 of 2003, we can see that Kenley is having an equally great year.
First 17 games
Eric Gagne 2003 – 18.2 1 ER 7H 4 BB 31 K 0.48 ERA 12 for 12 saves
Kenley Kansen – 2015 – 17 IP 2 ER 7H 1BB 28K 1.08 ERA 12 for 13 saves
Their numbers are almost identical. Kenley has walked three less batters and given up the same amount of hits. The only really difference is that one home run and blown save Kenley allowed. Our flame throwing island closer is on pace to possibly have one of the greatest seasons for a Dodger reliever in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
Not to mention, Kenley isn’t on steroids. He’s just naturally talented. I can’t wait to see all of the records Kenley could break in what looks to be a record setting year for him.