Lighter and healthier, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen brimming with confidence

Jansen’s 2018 season was not a disaster. He was, by most standards, good and was named an all-star for the third straight season. But Jansen, who is 32 saves from becoming the 30th player to reach 300 in his career, wasn’t merely good the previous two years. He was the best reliever in baseball. In 2018, his earned-run average — a volatile metric to measure relievers —- was 3.01 in 71 ⅔ innings. He had a 1.31 ERA in 2017. His Fielding Independent Pitching — a measure that removes results from balls hit into the field of play — climbed from 1.31 to 4.03. His strikeout rate dropped from 14.4 hitters per nine innings to 10.3. His walk rate ballooned from 0.9 to 2.1. His average cutter’s velocity, meanwhile, decreased by 0.9 mph, according to FanGraphs.

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