The Dodgers have announced that standout closer Kenley Jansen has undergone foot surgery that comes with an eight- to 12-week timeline for recovery. Via Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts, the Dodgers’ PR team released the following statement:
“This morning at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Dodger pitcher Kenley Jansen underwent surgery to remove a growth from a bone in his left foot. This was discovered when Kenley reported discomfort while running last week. A subsequent X-Ray, MRI and CT scan showed the problem in the 5th metatarsal of his left foot. The surgery was performed by Drs. Earl Brien and David Thordarson under the direction of Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Jansen will be on crutches for about 10 days and then a boot for 3-4 weeks. How he progresses during the rehab process will determine his return to competition, but it is expected to be approximately 8-12 weeks.”
An eight-week recovery would mean that Jansen is ready to go come April 14, whereas a 12-week recovery would keep him shelved through May 12. While the Dodgers possess a deep roster that many consider to be among the most talented in the game, the loss of Jansen for upwards of six weeks of the regular season would be a significant blow, particularly considering the fact that the bullpen is considered to be an area of weakness.
Joel Peralta, Paco Rodriguez, J.P. Howell and Brandon League all seem like locks to open the year in the Dodger ’pen, while other candidates include Chris Hatcher, Pedro Baez and Juan Nicasio. The Dodgers have also brought in David Huff, Sergio Santos, Erik Bedard and, most recently, David Aardsma as non-roster invitees to Spring Training. Among that group, Santos and Aardsma do have closing experience, though neither seems likely to go from minor league signee to primary ninth-inning option for manager Don Mattingly.
The news of Jansen’s injury makes yesterday’s report that the Dodgers are seeking to add another bullpen arm more logical. Among the free agent options for president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, GM Farhan Zaidi and VP Josh Byrnes to choose from are Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Coke. Jonathan Papelbon is also, of course, available on the trade market and was quite effective closing games for the Phillies last winter. For what it’s worth, Friedman should be plenty familiar with Soriano, as Soriano spent the 2010 season — arguably the best of his career — with the Rays.