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.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.