Kenley Jansen could return early next week

5 Comments

We live in a strange world. A guy has a bum calf? Out for weeks or months. A guy has a freaking heart problem? No worries, bro:

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen said he’s significantly improved from his diagnosis of an irregular heartbeat and could return to action next Tuesday night when the club opens a three-game series at Washington.

“I’ve just been trying to stay in shape and stay sharp. I’m feeling great,” Jansen said prior to Wednesday night’s game against the D-backs at Chase Field. “

He can’t pitch until he’s a couple of days off the blood thinners he’s taking, but that ends on Friday. In the offseason he’s to undergo a procedure to correct his heart rhythm.

Viva medical science.

Kenley Jansen expected to be OK for spring training after heart procedure

Kenley Jansen
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Building on a report from early September, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen is slated to undergo a heart procedure on November 26. The estimated recovery time ranges from two to eight weeks, according to comments Jansen made Friday, and he expects to be able to rejoin the team once spring training rolls around next year.

Jansen, 31, was first diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat in 2011 and missed significant time during the 2011, 2012, and 2018 seasons due to the condition. He underwent his first surgery to correct the irregularity in 2012, but suffered recurring symptoms that could not be treated long-term with the heart medication and blood thinners that had been prescribed to him. Scarier still was the “atrial fibrillation episode” that the reliever experienced during a road trip to Colorado in August; per MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, the high altitude exacerbated his heart condition and left him susceptible to future episodes in the event that he chose to return to the Rockies’ Coors Field.

Heart issues notwithstanding, the veteran right-hander pitched through his third straight All-Star season in 2018. Overall, he saw a downward trend in most of his stats, but still collected 38 saves in 59 opportunities and finished the season with a respectable 3.01 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 71 2/3 innings. In October, he helped carry the Dodgers to their second consecutive pennant and wrapped up his sixth postseason run with three saves, two blown saves, and a 1.69 ERA across 10 2/3 innings.