Dodgers News: Kenley Jansen Confident He’s Healthy, Prepared For Heavy Workload During NL West Race
Kenley Jansen, Dodgers
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2018 season many projected and expected the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the National League West for a sixth consecutive year. While they remain in position to accomplish as much, it doesn’t figure to come easy.


Entering play Tuesday, the Arizona Diamondbacks sit atop the NL West standings and 2.5 games ahead of the Dodgers. Sandwiched between them are the Colorado Rockies, who are one game up on the Dodgers.

Among the reasons Los Angeles hasn’t run away with the division like they did in 2017 are injuries and players enduring prolonged slumps. In the case of Kenley Jansen, he fits into both categories.

Jansen was eased into and throughout Spring Training, and also battled a hamstring issue during that time. The light workload seemed to impact him come the regular season as the All-Star closer didn’t appear to be his usual dominant self during various stretches.

Jansen rounded into form but was placed on the 10-day disabled list because of another bout with an irregular heartbeat. Despite some concern he would miss at least one month, the 30-year-old was activated off the DL for Monday’s series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Not only did Jansen beat the reported timeline, he maintains he’s in good health and prepared to shoulder any load for the Dodgers as they look to rise to the top of the NL West, per Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times:

“I’m in great shape. I do a lot of running during the down times. So, I’m ready to go. We’re, what, two games back with 37 games left? It’s go-time now. I don’t need to be babied. And I’m sure I’m not going to be babied. My heart is fine.”

Jansen’s comments are similar to a sentiment Clayton Kershaw voiced after earning his 150th career win. The Dodgers lost three of four to the Rockies, which overlapped with Jansen experiencing his heart trouble.

They will face the Diamondbacks on Aug. 30 for the start of what’s shaping to be a key four-game series at Dodger Stadium.

Meanwhile, Jansen will look to shake off a disappointing return in which he allowed back-to-back home runs to start the ninth inning that proved to be the difference for the Cardinals.