Los Angeles Dodgers all-star closer Kenley Jansen is expected to miss around one month because of an irregular heartbeat, a condition that has plagued him throughout his career.
As first reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney and confirmed by MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, Jansen began to feel that something was amiss at the team’s hotel in Denver ahead of Thursday’s game against the Rockies and was taken to the hospital. After initial tests there, he flew back to Los Angeles to meet with his cardiologist and undergo more testing.
It’s the second time in Jansen’s career that he has suffered an irregular heartbeat during a road trip to Denver’s high altitude: The Dodgers also shut him down for a spell after a road game against the Rockies in August 2012, and he underwent a procedure on his heart that October to return it to its normal rhythm. He also spent a month on the DL during the 2011 season while taking blood-thinning medication to correct the problem.
“Anytime you’re talking about the heart, we obviously have to be very careful with it,” Manager Dave Roberts told reporters after Thursday night’s game, per MLB.com. “And then we’re talking about altitude, so that’s why we wanted to be proactive and get him back [to Los Angeles]. We’re holding out hope that it’s not too serious, but talking to the trainer right now, his mood is fine; you wouldn’t know the difference. And once we get more testing, we’ll know more.”
Jansen, an all-star the past three seasons,is tied for the NL lead with 32 saves one year after posting a league-high 41 and finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award voting.
The 64-52 Dodgers are tied with the Diamondbacks atop the NL West. According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Los Angeles tried but failed to include Orioles closer Zach Britton in the trade that sent Manny Machado to the West Coast, which would have given the Dodgers a terrifying 1-2 punch to close games. Baltimore instead traded Britton to the Yankees, and Roberts said Thursday that he didn’t know whether the team would make a roster move in Jansen’s absence.
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