Dodgers' Kenley Jansen Says He Felt 'Insulted' by 2021 MLB All-Star Game Snub

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 6, 2021

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen celebrates the team's 3-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in a baseball game Friday, June 18, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen said he felt "insulted" to miss out on the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.

"Listen, I went through a lot of disappointment (over it), but at the end, I was laughing more about it," he told reporters. "I guess you have to put up a 0.00 ERA with zero blown saves for me — for me — to get that recognition. Especially me doing this for a long time."

Jansen has a 1.30 ERA and 21 starts in 34 appearances so far this year.

The 33-year-old wasn't the only Dodgers player who can make a reasonable argument for getting snubbed in the All-Star voting. Will Smith, Justin Turner and Walker Buehler all had strong resumes.

When it comes to Jansen, he may have been a victim of his own past success. He owns a 3.13 FIP while averaging 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings, per Baseball Reference. During his run of three straight All-Star nods from 2016-18, those numbers were 2.29 and 12.7, respectively.

Still, the right-hander has the seventh-highest WAR (0.8) among National League relievers, per FanGraphs. He's also 15th in WHIP (0.98) and third in opponent batting average (.116).

Craig Kimbrel and Josh Hader have been two of the best closers in MLB, so taking them off the NL squad is a nonstarter. Jansen has perhaps out-pitched Mark Melancon and Alex Reyes, though. Here's how their numbers compare:

  • Jansen: 34 games, 21 saves, 1.30 ERA, 3.13 FIP, 0.981 WHIP, 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings, 5.5 walks per nine innings
  • Melancon: 35 games, 25 saves, 2.27 ERA, 4.19 FIP, 1.206 WHIP, 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings, 3.8 walks per nine innings
  • Reyes: 37 games, 20 saves, 1.12 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 1.264 WHIP, 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings, 6.9 walks per nine innings

As frustrated as Jansen might feel, he also said he won't linger on the perceived slight because he "didn't work my (butt) off to be an All-Star" and instead pointed to the pursuit of championships as his main motivator.

The Dodgers are only 0.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West, and they're four games up in the race for the NL's two wild-card spots.

There's a good chance Jansen will have the opportunity to continue pitching in October, something that won't be said about every player making the trip to Coors Field for the All-Star Game.