I wrote last week about how Kenley Jansen had the second-highest strikeout rate in baseball history, but the Dodgers rookie was so dominant down the stretch that he vaulted into the top spot.
Jansen ended up striking out 34 of the final 56 batters he faced this season–which is absolutely ridiculous–and finished the year as the first pitcher in baseball history with more than 16.0 strikeouts per nine innings.
Here’s the new all-time leaderboard (among pitchers with at least 40 innings):
KENLEY JANSEN 2011 16.1
Carlos Marmol 2010 16.0
Eric Gagne 2003 15.0
Billy Wagner 1999 15.0
Brad Lidge 2004 14.9
Jensen racked up 96 strikeouts in 53.2 innings while posting a 2.85 ERA and .159 opponents’ batting average. Not bad for a 23-year-old rookie who was a light-hitting catcher in the minors as recently as two seasons ago.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.