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Blue Jays’ Osuna, Dodgers’ Jansen named AL/NL Relievers of the Month

Roberto Osuna pitching to plate in 2016 By Arturo Pardavila III, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Kenley Jansen running in 2013 By Keith Allison on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Toronto Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna has been voted American League Reliever of the Month presented by The Hartford for June, and Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has been voted National League Reliever of the Month presented by The Hartford for June.

The American League Reliever of the Month presented by The Hartford, Roberto Osuna, and the National League Reliever of the Month presented by the Hartford, Kenley Jansen, will each receive a specially designed plaque, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments. This is the inaugural season of the Reliever of the Month Awards presented by The Hartford. The Hartford, the Official Business Insurance & Employee Benefits Sponsor of MLB, has presented baseball’s annual Relievers of the Year Awards since 2015. The 2017 Relievers of the Year presented by The Hartford will again be presented during the World Series.

Osuna pitched in 12 games during June for the Blue Jays, converting each of his eight save opportunities and striking out 19 opposing batters. Roberto permitted just one walk, did not surrender a home run and finished the month allowing one earned run on four hits over 11.1 innings of work to claim his first career monthly award. On June 21st against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Osuna recorded his 19th save of the season, as well as his 18th consecutive converted save opportunity. His streak of 18 straight saves is tied for fifth-longest in franchise history, and is tied for third-longest in a single season, trailing only Tom Henke’s streak of 25 saves in 1991 and Billy Koch’s run of 21 saves in 2000. In addition, the streak is tied with NL Reliever of the Month Kenley Jansen for the longest active streak in the Majors, and the second-longest streak of the 2017 season, trailing only two-time NL Reliever of the Month Greg Holland of the Colorado Rockies (23). The Juan Jose Rios, Mexico native made more history with his 19th save of the 2017 campaign, totaling 75 saves in his three-year career, matching B.J. Ryan for fifth on Toronto’s all-time saves list behind Henke (217), Duane Ward (121), Koch (100) and Casey Janssen (90). At 22 years, 134 days, the young right-hander became the youngest pitcher in MLB history to reach the 75-save milestone. Entering play today, Osuna has not allowed a run in 8.1 consecutive innings, a streak spanning a season-high-tying nine appearances (also April 29th-May 13th). During the stretch, the Toronto closer has collected five saves to go along with an impressive 13:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

May’s AL Reliever of the Month and 2017 AL All-Star Craig Kimbrel (1.54 ERA, 8 SV, 11.2 IP, 19 SO) produced another excellent month for the Boston Red Sox. The now-six-time All-Star recorded his 20th save of the season on June 18th against the Houston Astros, becoming the only pitcher in the Majors to reach the 20-save mark in each of the last seven seasons (2011-17). Entering play today, Kimbrel paces the AL with 23 saves on the season. Others receiving votes for AL Reliever of the Month included Chris Devenski (1-0, 1.04 ERA, 17.1 IP, 19 SO) of the Houston Astros; David Hernandez (0.00 ERA, 11.0 IP, 16SO) of the Los Angeles Angels; Jose Leclerc (1-0, 3.18 ERA, 11.1 IP, 19 SO) of the Rangers; Kimbrel’s teammate Joe Kelly (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 10.1 IP); Brandon Kintzler (2.31 ERA, 8 SV, 11.2 IP) of the Minnesota Twins; and Bryan Shaw (1-1, 1.72 ERA, 15.2 IP, 14 SO) of the Cleveland Indians.

Jansen, who was selected to the NL All-Star Team on Sunday, was perfect in save opportunities, converting each of his 10 chances in 12 games over 14.0 innings pitched en route to claiming his first career Reliever of the Month Award. Jansen, who won the 2016 Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year Award presented by The Hartford, went 2-0 without allowing an earned run with 18 strikeouts, just one walk and four hits allowed. On June 11th against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium, the Willemstad, Curaçao native logged the 200th save of his career, becoming the 49th player in MLB history, and the first Dodgers reliever to reach the milestone since saves became an official statistic in 1969. Since his appearance on June 11th, the 29- year-old converted seven additional saves and is the Dodgers’ all-time leader in both saves (207) and strikeouts (685) by a reliever. Entering play today, Jansen has not surrendered a run in 15 consecutive appearances, a streak spanning 17.0 innings of work from May 23rd-June 29th. During his impressive stretch, Kenley amassed a pair of wins, 10 saves and an impressive 21:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His lone free pass of the entire 2017 season came on June 25th against the Colorado Rockies, concluding a historic streak that totaled 112 batters faced and 51 strikeouts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the previous MLB record for the most strikeouts by a pitcher before issuing his first walk of a season was set by Adam Wainwright (35) of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013. The imposing right-hander enters play today with the lowest ERA (1.79) among Major League relievers, and has helped stabilize a pitching staff that paces the Majors in team ERA (3.22).

Closer Fernando Rodney (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 SV, 14 SO) of the Arizona Diamondbacks also posted an impressive month of June. The three-time All-Star became the fourth pitcher in MLB history to face at least 28 batters in a single month without allowing a hit, joining Edwar Ramirez in June 2008, Bryan Harvey in August 1989 and Sparky Lyle in April 1970. Rodney had not surrendered an earned run in 19 consecutive games, dating back to May 1st, converting 14 of 15 save opportunities with a 0.00 ERA over 18.2 innings pitched. Others receiving votes for NL Reliever of the Month included Phil Maton (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8.1 IP11 SO) of the San Diego Padres; All-Star Corey Knebel (1.23 ERA, 10 SV, 14.2 IP, 24 SO) of the Milwaukee Brewers; All-Star Pat Neshek (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 12.1 IP, 13 SO) of the Philadelphia Phillies; and Jarlin García (0.79 ERA, 11.1 IP, 9 SO) of the Miami Marlins.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

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