Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen might skip a weekend trip to Colorado due to potential heart risks at elevation.
Jansen, 30, missed nearly two weeks last month due to an irregular heartbeat, a problem that first returned while he was in Denver on a Dodgers road trip. The high elevation can exacerbate the problem.
The right-hander underwent a catheter ablation in 2012 to deal with atrial fibrillation, and he said last month that he might need a second heart surgery in the offseason to address the issue.
The Dodgers play host to the New York Mets on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the visit the Rockies for games Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Jansen said of his status for the weekend, according to MLB.com, “It’s being debated. It’s tough.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told MLB.com, “With Kenley and altitude and going to Denver, it’s certainly going to be a conversation we’re going to revisit during this series. The No. 1 priority that we’re all aligned on is that Kenley’s health is first and foremost the priority.
“If there’s any hesitation on his part or the doctors say the altitude can affect him in any way, then for us it’s a no-brainer to have him stay back. So we haven’t made a decision yet. We’ll have those conversations and make that decision in the next couple of days.”
In Jansen’s recent absence, the Dodgers’ bullpen was abysmal, blowing leads in seven consecutive games during one stretch and losing five of those contests.
Upon returning to action Aug. 20, Jansen gave up homers in each of his first three outings, taking two losses and blowing a save chance. However, he is on a run of two saves and a win in his past three outing, having thrown one scoreless inning in each of those games.
For the season, Jansen is 1-5 with a 2.93 ERA and 34 saves in 38 chances.
Should Jansen be unavailable for the games in Colorado, newly acquired reliever Ryan Madson might be the first in line for save opportunities. The 38-year-old veteran had four saves for the Washington Nationals earlier this season, and he has 91 career saves.
–Field Level Media