Top 5 Moments of 2016-Kenley Jansen Breaks Dodger Save Record

It may have been a blip on the calendar to some of you, but on June 20, 2016 Right handed super closer Kenley Jansen recorded his 162nd career save to overtake Eric Gagne and become the Dodger’s all-time franchise save leader. It was so much more than a blip as it marked the peak of an incredible career and talent. Jansen went from a Mendoza line hitting catcher in the minor leagues to one of the greatest closers in baseball. What an incredible journey.

Kenley always had a very strong arm, but was never much of a hitter. That’s why the Dodgers at the time asked him if he would be interested in pitching. The rest is history.

Jansen took a page right out of Mariano Rivera’s book. He learned one devastating out pitch. The cutter. Mix in an effective slider and two-seamer, and boom you have a terrific closer. Although Jansen’s cutter is faster than Rivera’s was.

Kenley went to on to break a couple of other records in 2016 as he had one of the best seasons of his illustrious career. Later in the season Kenley would go on to break the franchise record for strikeouts by a reliever previously set by Jim Brewer. He now has 632 career punch-outs; the record was 603 set by Brewer.

Kenley finished the 2016 season with 47 saves, a 1.83 ERA in 71 games and a strikeout per nine rate (One of the highest strikeout rates for a reliever in years) of 13.6. Kenley struck out 104 and walked just 11 in 68.2 innings pitched this year. As a reward for his excellent pitching Kenley was selected to his first all-star game, and also won the Trevor Hoffman National League reliever of the year award. Kenley has 189 career saves across his seven seasons as a Dodger.

Resigning Kenley should be a top priority for the Dodger front office this offseason. There really isn’t anyone better out there.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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18 thoughts on “Top 5 Moments of 2016-Kenley Jansen Breaks Dodger Save Record

  1. Agree – they have to resign Jansen.

    By the way there are those from the last post who advocated Willie Calhoun at 1B. Really? a 5’8″ 1B? (That is his height according to Dodgers.com.) This would be a disaster for the Dodgers’ defense. Garvey was 5’10” and was really too short.

    You can’t teach height.

    1. There is a difference between advocating and merely saying Calhoun might be able to play first better than he can play other positions.

      1. Yeah – he won all of those titles by himself – no Cousy, no Sam or KC Jones, no Havlicek, no Heinsohn, etc.

        Besides, Russell was a 1 dimensional player.

        “Bill Russell’s offensive stats can be seen as mediocre. He didn’t exactly dominate offensively, scoring 15.1 ppg while making 44% of his field goals and 56% of his free throws.”

        Besides, what is the point here? Because Russell could play center at 6’8″ doesn’t mean that Calhoun can play 1B at 5’8″.

        1. Wow, “Because Russell could play center at 6’8″ doesn’t mean that Calhoun can play 1B at 5’8″.

          It shows that Calhoun’s height doesn’t preclude him from playing first.

  2. Congrats to Kenley for all he has done. But the words which stand out: “the peak of an incredible career”.

    Time to move on. Enjoy blowing leads in SF Kenley!

  3. Jansen has much more in his tank and his finest are ahead. We had better hope the last place he lands in is in San Francisco! I hope he lands in LA!

  4. I have this to say:

    1. Calhoun will never play 1B. Repeat, NEVER! I am not sure he can play 2B, but I am willing to see. I think he can hit. He is a below-average runner too.

    2. I will be totally shocked if Jansen signs with LA.

    3. Put Wilt Chamberlin on any of Bill Russel’s teams and they may have never lost a game.

    4. Adrian Gonzalez is so yesterday. I will be shocked if he’s on the team next year.

      1. I’m with you, Fred. What he gives up in reach, he can likely make up in range and agility. Agon is a good first baseman, throws well, but has limited range. And, as to be expected, he is no longer worth $20MM a year. But wait a minute, with what Reddick got, and Kazmir and really, all the pitchers, maybe he is worth $20MM…

  5. Mark,

    1. Agree about Calhoun. I believe he also has a weak arm, which is not good for a righthanded throwing first baseman.

    2. I wouldn’t be totally shocked if Jansen signed with LA, nor would I be shocked if he didn’t sign. However, I do believe that the Dodgers will sign at least one of the big three relievers on the market.

    3. Agree about Chamberlain/Russell combo.

    4. Adrian Gonzalez is no longer the player he used to be, and there’s no way to predict how fast his decline will be, if, in fact, it has begun. I too wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up elsewhere before next season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Dodger blue come April. If the right deal comes along, and the Dodgers believe that Bellinger is ready, Gonzalez could well be traded this off-season, or perhaps be traded sometime during next season, be it at the deadline or earlier.

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