Dodgers Jansen named NL Reliever of Month, Bellinger named NL Rookie of Month

July 3, 2017

The accolades keep coming in for the Los Angeles Dodgers, as this week closer Kenley Jansen and rookie Cody Bellinger were both honored.  Jansen was named National League Reliever of the Month, while Cody Bellinger was named NL’s rookie of the month for June.

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, 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, Jansen logged the 200th save of his career, becoming the 49th player in MLB history, and the first Dodger 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.

Jansen's lone walk 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).

This is the inaugural season of the Reliever of the Month Awards presented by The Hartford, and Jansen will receive a specially designed plaque, suitably engraved, for his accomplishments. 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.

Outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger has been unanimously voted National League Rookie of the Month for the second consecutive month. Bellinger, who was named an All-Star on Sunday, posted a slashline of .286/.361/.743 with 22 runs scored, nine doubles, 13 home runs, 27 RBI, 13 walks and four stolen bases to earn his second consecutive monthly award.

He is the first NL rookie to garner consecutive monthly awards since Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals was voted NL Rookie of the Month in both August and September of last season. This is the first time in Dodger franchise history that a freshman player has been named Rookie of the Month twice in the same season dating back to the award’s inception in 2001.

Among qualified NL rookie sluggers with at least 20 at-bats, Bellinger finished the month first in runs scored, hits (30), doubles, home runs, RBI, stolen bases and slugging percentage. In addition, his 13 home runs matched Jimmie Hall (August 1963) for the third-most homers by a rookie in a single month in MLB history.

On June 19th against the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium, Bellinger went 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs and four RBI. The multi-homer effort was his fifth of the 2017 season and propelled him to becoming the fastest player in MLB history to reach 21 round-trippers (51 career games). Additionally, he surpassed Adrian Beltre (20 HR, 2000) to log the most home runs as a Dodger in a season at age 21-or-younger.

The following night, the dynamic slugger connected for his 22nd home run of the season in a game that saw Los Angeles record a season-high-tying five homers. With the prolific output, the Dodgers had blasted 27 home runs in its previous 10 games, establishing a new franchise record for homers over any 10-game span. For Bellinger, it was his 10th home run over his last 10 games (June 10th-20th), and he became just the second player in team history to log 10 homers in 10 contests, joining Shawn Green (May 2002).

In addition, Bellinger became the first rookie in Major League history to accomplish the feat, and was the first big league player to do so since Troy Tulowitzki (September 8-18, 2010). Bellinger finished his historic month with a final multi-homer game on June 25th against the Colorado Rockies, establishing a club record for the most multi-home run games (6) in a rookie season.

Not even halfway through the season, Bellinger trails only Mark McGwire (7) for the most multi-homer games as a rookie in MLB history. The overall single-season mark of 11 multi-homer games is held by Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg (1938) and Sammy Sosa (1998).

By Staff of and news services

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