Kenley Jansen needs offseason surgery for heart condition, but hopes to pitch this month

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Kenley Jansen has been sidelined since August 27 after a re-occurrence of his irregular heartbeat, but yesterday he was examined by a specialist and told that he’ll likely be able to pitch again by the middle of the month.

Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reports that Jansen will take blood thinners for the next 10 days before potentially coming back around September 17, although doctors have advised the Dodgers closer that he’ll need surgery once the season is over.

According to Dilbeck “the heart procedure Jansen is considering is called cardiac ablation, which typically inserts a small catheter through a vein and through to the heart, where an electrical charge is used to destroy the problem areas of the heart.”

Jansen seems optimistic about undergoing the surgery because it would allow him to cease taking medication and obviously the fact that doctors think he can pitch again this season is a positive sign. He hasn’t become a household name yet, but Jansen has been as good as any reliever in baseball since debuting in 2010 and has thrived as a closer this year with a 2.54 ERA and 86/19 K/BB ratio in 57 innings.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.