Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen firmly anticipates the need for an offseason heart procedure, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick was among those to report on Twitter. It’ll be a repeat of the procedure he had in 2012 to deal with an irregular heartbeat.
Jansen, of course, missed time recently when he experienced a recurrence of the symptoms that led to his original procedure. Indications at the time were that an offseason surgery would again be necessary, though it was not clear until his comments today that it was all but certain to take place.
There has been no change to Jansen’s availability down the stretch and into the postseason (if the Dodgers qualify). After all, the issue was already known. And presumably the hope will remain that he’ll be ready for a full spring camp in 2019, though details remain unknown.
Of course, Jansen’s cardiac health will remain the top priority. It’s certainly scary to hear of the ongoing issues, though certainly it’s promising that he has been able to continue his career and encouraging to know that he’s being watched closely by experts.
Soon to turn 31, the outstanding right-hander has not been at his dominant best thus far in 2018. He struggled in particular for a stretch in late August after returning from his recent scare. But the veteran has righted the ship over his past several appearances and still owns a healthy 2.89 ERA, with 10.3 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9, over his 62 1/3 innings on the season.
That’s still quite productive, but it’s nothing close to the typical version of Jansen. To take but one example: he currently carries a 2.98 SIERA (the ERA estimator that looks most favorably on his 2018 output). That means that this season will break a remarkable seven-year streak in which Jansen posted SIERA marks of 1.88 or lower.
Whether Jansen can still deliver a vintage performance the rest of the way, and into the future, remains to be seen. He is under contract through 2020, with $56MM of earnings over the three seasons yet to come, so there’s plenty at stake for the Dodgers. Clearly, though, the most important thing is that Jansen remains healthy.