The Closer: KENLEY JANSEN
“Caliiiiforrrrrnia Looove” I can just here Kenley’s entrance song blaring over the Dodger loudspeaker come opening day. Jansen was dominant, again, in 2017. Jansen had 41 saves in 68.1 innings, with a 1.32 ERA, and an amazing strikeout rate of 14.36/9 innings. That’s 109 strikeouts in 68.1 innings, with only 7 walks by the way! We know he is dominant. So lets look at his pLI to help set the baseline.
Jansen’s pLI in 2017 was 1.68 (his career pLI is 1.55). Looking to the previous season provides us a relatively recent example of how the pitcher fared in a high leverage situation, and coupled with his stats, will show his production in these situations. This again is far from perfect, but provides us fans a good starting point. So, we can derive from this very cursory analysis that Jansen was quite well above average in terms of appearing in high leverage situations, and as we all know, did quite well in these situations by looking at his stats. Look at Jansen’s other stats such as FIP and WAR, and you will also see his dominance. But of course, you do not need to do that since we all know Jansen is among the best in the game. However, let’s keep Jansen’s 1.68 pLI in mind as we look at the Dodgers non-Jansen relievers.