Kenley Jansen has been one of the best things to happen to the Dodgers in a long time. And that feels weird to say given the ridicule that he has endured since the 2017 World Series. But the truth is that he has actually been much better than pretty much any closer around the league.
Closing games consistently for a very long time in an MLB career is tough. Just look at Yankee’s pitcher Mariano Rivera, who has almost 200 more saves than the 3rd place Lee Smith. So the fact that the Dodgers have had Jansen stick around in that role for years is amazing.
On Saturday night, Jansen locked down the 341st save of his relatively young big league career. Jansen is playing in his 12th season and just his 10th as a consistent closer. That save tied him for 14th on the all-time MLB list for saves with Rollie Fingers.
That’s noteworthy given the Hall of Fame career that Fingers had with the A’s, Padres, and Brewers. He also played for 17 years in his MLB career and closed games for quite some time. So the fact that Kenley is right there with him is phenomenal.
He might not have the same stuff that he once did, but Jansen is still putting together a heck of a season. He just locked down his 29th save of the year for the Dodgers and has been a big part of the bullpen’s success. Put some respect on the Big Man.