KENLEY JANSEN, 27, closer.
Final 2014 stats: 44 saves in 49 opportunities, 2.76 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 2-3 record, 13.9 strikeouts per nine innings and a .224 opponent batting average.
Contract status: Arbitration eligible.
The good: In his first full season as the closer, his 44 saves tied for fifth-highest in the majors. Right-handed batters hit just .169 against him, with a .292 slugging percentage. Had 22 saves at home and 22 on the road. Pitched in 68 games, with a 1.35 ERA in his last 35 appearances. No irregular heartbeat issues.
The bad: It’s all relative, but he had what for him was a semi-rough stretch from April 8 to June 20, going 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA. It’s why his overall ERA went up from the 1.88 he posted in 2013.
What’s next: Locked in as the closer for the foreseeable future.
The take: He’s still throwing hard and learning to pitch. And he’s just entering his prime, so more of the same is expected. The converted catcher threw only 64 and 2/3 innings in the minors, so it’s not like his arm has a lot of mileage on it.
He made some adjustments to his delivery at midseason and was pretty much dominant the rest of the way, his cutter again moving. In a bullpen that was otherwise largely unpredictable, he was the one thing the Dodgers could count on.
The Dodgers’ new management team is working to support him with improved middle and late-inning relief, which can never hurt the closer’s cause.
Across the line, Jansen’s numbers compared with the major’s top closers. That’s his company now.