The Los Angeles Dodgers’ bullpen woes are well documented at this point. They just lost their fifth straight game, with all five losses decided in the seventh inning or later. Their bullpen has collapsed, allowing nine runs in the ninth inning alone during that span.
At least some of those results would most likely be different if Kenley Jansen had not been put on the disabled list after an irregular heartbeat in Colorado over the weekend.
Since then, the Dodgers have not been able to find an adequate replacement, with Scott Alexander, Zac Rosscup, Dylan Floro and Kenta Maeda all faltering in the “closer by committee” role.
With the Dodgers now suddenly losing ground in the NL West, Jansen’s return may be one of the only things that can turn around the team’s struggling bullpen.
Fortunately for the Dodgers, Jansen himself believes that he will be back soon and is beginning to take strides in his rehab by getting back on the mound and lifting weights, per Bill Plunkett of the SoCal News Group:
Jansen said he will throw to hitters tomorrow (tracking, no swings). Will do some weight lifting. Plans to travel to Seattle with team for weekend series and throw to hitters again on Friday. Optimistic he will be cleared to return after follow up visit with cardiologist Monday
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 15, 2018
The timetable of Jansen’s comeback ultimately depends on his scheduled doctor’s appointment Monday as the ultimate decision will come down to the cardiologist’s recommendation. If he is cleared to start ramping up his rehab, he may be back before the end of August.
However, Jansen has yet to do his usual physical routine and is still wearing a heart monitor around his chest. Even if he is medically cleared to play on Monday, the Dodgers will still take every precaution for his health.
Jansen has had heart issues in Colorado before, including one in 2012 that later required surgery. The All-Star closer has already admitted that he may need another heart procedure in the offseason.
Rushing Jansen back may seem like the only cure for the Dodgers’ ailing bullpen. However, the team will rightfully make his long-term health their top priority.