Thanks to five home runs in the seventh inning or later, the Los Angeles Dodgers took an 8-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning of their series opener against the division rival Colorado Rockies on Thursday night at Coors Field.
That typically would be a save situation for Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who is tied for the National League lead in saves. The only problem is that Jansen was on a plane on his way back to Los Angeles for further testing after being forced to leave the stadium and go to the hospital due to an irregular heartbeat.
After the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that a roster move will likely be made on Friday, although he was not sure how serious Jansen’s condition would be.
Well, it turns out it is pretty serious, as according to Buster Olney of ESPN, Jansen is expected to miss around a month of action:
Sources: Kenley Jansen is expected to miss about a month as he goes through treatment for his irregular heartbeat.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 10, 2018
Jansen has dealt with similar issues at the high altitude in Colorado before, and it kept him out for about a month as well when he first had the issue a few years back.
This is an extremely big blow for the Dodgers, who head into play Friday in a first-place tie with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West with less than two months remaining in the season.
Jansen is perhaps the only irreplaceable player on the roster as they have lost just about everyone else to injury throughout the course of this season and have been able to manage. Scott Alexander, Dylan Floro and J.T. Chargois have been seeing a lot of high-leverage innings lately, so they are the prime candidates to replace Jansen at the end of games for the next month.
Waiver trades can also still be completed throughout the month of August, so the Dodgers also could look elsewhere to bolster their bullpen as well.