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.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.