Jansen with the Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 74
September 30, 1987 |
|July 24, 2010 for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
(through 2014 season)
|Earned run average||2.25|
Kenley Jansen was born in Willemstad, Curaçao, the youngest of three sons of Isidor and Bernadette Jensen. His father worked in construction until suffering a stroke when Kenley was 12; his mother is a travel agent.
Jansen was signed as an undrafted free agent catcher by the Dodgers in 2005 and was assigned to the Rookie Class Gulf Coast Dodgers, where he played in 2005 and 2006. He split 2007 between the Ogden Raptors and the Class-A Great Lakes Loons. In 2008 with the Loons, he hit .227 and 9 home runs in 79 games.
In 2009, he was the starting catcher for the Netherlands team in the World Baseball Classic. In the Netherlands' upset of the favored Dominican Republic team, Jansen threw out Willy Taveras on an attempted steal of third base in the ninth inning, a key play in the game.
With the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino in 2009, the Dodgers began an attempt to convert Jansen from a catcher into a relief pitcher. After the season, he pitched in the Arizona Fall League and was added to the Dodgers 40 man roster. On May 15, 2010 he was promoted to the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts, where he was selected to the mid-season Southern League all-star game.
On July 23, 2010, Jansen was promoted to the Dodgers. He made his Major League debut in relief on July 24 against the New York Mets, pitching a scoreless inning, retiring all three batters he faced, striking out two. The very next day on July 25, he recorded his first Major League save, when he pitched a 1-2-3 inning against the New York Mets.
On August 26, 2010, Jansen walked and scored a run in his first Major League plate appearance at Miller Park in Milwaukee against Yovani Gallardo. He collected his first Major League hit on August 31, 2010 at Dodger Stadium. The hit was a single up the middle against Kyle Kendrick of the Philadelphia Phillies. He recorded his first Major League win against the Houston Astros on September 11, 2010 in Minute Maid Park.
He appeared in 25 games with the Dodgers in 2010, working 27 innings with a 1–0 record and a 0.67 ERA. He also saved four games in 2010.
In 2011 Jansen became a key member of the Dodgers bullpen. He was 2–1 with a 2.85 ERA in 53 2⁄3 innings and saved 5 games. He also struck out 96 batters, setting a new Major League season record with 16 1⁄3 strikeouts per nine innings.
In May 2012, Jansen became the Dodgers closer after Javy Guerra struggled in the role. At the end of the season, after missing some time due to heart problems (see below), Jansen was replaced as closer by Brandon League.
He appeared in 65 games with a 5–3 record, 2.35 ERA, 99 strikeouts and 25 saves.
Jansen began 2013 as the setup man in the bullpen but resumed the role as closer when League struggled. He was in 75 games with a 4-3 record, 1.88 ERA and 28 saves.
On February 11, 2014 he avoided his first arbitration hearing by signing a $4.3 million contract with the Dodgers. Fully established as the Dodgers closer in 2014, Jansen worked in 68 games with a 2.76 ERA, 101 strikeouts and 44 saves. He became just the fourth Dodger pitcher in history with 40+ saves in a season, joining Éric Gagné (who did it three times), Todd Worrell and Jeff Shaw.
On January 16, 2015, he again avoided arbitration by signing a one-year $7.425 million contract with the Dodgers.
Jansen relies almost exclusively on a cut fastball in the 92–97 mph range, but it occasionally tops out at 100 mph, making his much faster than Mariano Rivera. In 2012, he used this pitch about 93% of the time. His other main pitch is a slider in the low 80s. He experimented with a changeup in the 2009–2011 seasons and debuted a four-seam fastball at the end of the 2012 season.
Jansen has recorded extremely high strikeout rates, garnering 14.6 strikeouts per 9 innings through the 2012 season. This is the second-highest total in history among pitchers who have thrown at least 140 innings (behind only Craig Kimbrel).
Jansen was diagnosed in 2011 with an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) and he missed some time that season while he was placed on blood thinners to correct the problem. However, the problem resurfaced late in the 2012 season and he again missed considerable time while being treated. On October 24, 2012, Jansen underwent a three-hour procedure in which a surgeon identified abnormal tissue in his left atrium that was generating abnormal electrical signals and cauterized it.
Jensen lives with his parents in Curaçao during the offseason, and they live with him in Los Angeles when they visit him during the season. He is engaged to Candace Cotton, with whom he has a daughter, Natalia Hana Jensen (b. 2013).
- "Kenley Jensen". Baseball-Reference.com. 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- Plaschke, Bill (11 September 2013). "No man is an island, especially Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "Kenley Jansen plays a big role in the Netherlands' upset of the Dominican Republic". Mlive.com. 2009-03-07. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- "Dodgers call up Kenley Jansen; designate Justin Miller for assignment - latimes.com". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2010-07-23. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- "Jansen struck out hitters at record pace in '11". Losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- Hernandez, Dylan (May 7, 2012). "Kenley Jansen replacing Javy Guerra as Dodgers closer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- Dilbeck, Steve (September 30, 2012). "Brandon League, the Dodgers' unexpected closer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- Gurnick, Ken (February 11, 2014). "Jansen, Dodgers reach $4.3 million deal". MLB.com. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
- Eric Stephen (September 5, 2014). "Kenley Jansen 4th Dodgers pitcher with 40 saves in a season". truebluela.com.
- Stephen, Eric (January 16, 2015). "Kenley Jansen, Dodgers avoid arbitration with $7.425 contract". truebluela.com. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
- Newport, Kyle (2014-08-06). "Dodgers Closer Kenley Jansen Unbelievably Threw a 98 Mph Cutter". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Kenley Jansen". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- "Major League Leaderboards » 2012 » Pitchers » Dashboard". Fangraphs. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- "Recurrence of heart condition sidelines Jansen". Losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- "Jansen excited for first action since heart trouble". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- "Kenley Jansen of Los Angeles Dodgers undergoes heart procedure - ESPN Los Angeles". Espn.go.com. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- Hernandez, Dylan (8 April 2013). "Dodgers' Kenley Jansen has a healthy outlook". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)