Friday, July 29, 2011
Dodgers' Kenley Jansen to DL
By Tony Jackson
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers rookie reliever Kenley Jansen was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with cardiac arrhythmia, the move coming one day after Jansen was released from White Memorial Hospital.
He had been taken there by a team trainer when he experienced an irregular heartbeat after posting his second save of the season on Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies.
To fill his roster spot, the team recalled right-hander Josh Lindblom from the minors for the second time this season. Lindblom allowed just two runs over 10 2/3 innings in his previous big league stint from June 1-18.
The move was made because Jansen, after team medical officials consulted with several cardiologists, opted to begin a three-week regimen of taking blood thinners, a medication that puts him at high risk of dangerous bleeding if he were to suffer a hard blow to any part of his body. Thus, it isn't safe for him to pitch or even to be on the field during batting practice, although he will be allowed to throw in the bullpen before batting practice.
Jansen also will be allowed to sit in the 'pen during games, but he will have to wear a catcher's helmet and remain in the small, enclosed room just below the 360-foot sign on the left field wall instead of in the open-air section of the bullpen.
"It's a little frustrating, but I have to take care of my health first because without my health, I couldn't do anything,'' Jansen said. "I really want to be out there pitching, but I can't do it right now. It's too dangerous.''
Jansen's heart was shocked back into normal rhythm during that hospital stay, but the condition was never deemed to be life-threatening. Dodgers medical-services director Stan Conte said some of the cardiologists he talked to didn't feel the blood thinners were necessary, but others did, so the decision was left to Jansen.
"This isn't that uncommon, but it is uncommon in a younger person,'' Conte said. "His heart is fine. He may never have another problem for the rest of his life. The question was what we wanted him to do for the next three weeks. The decision was made to put him on blood thinners as a precaution. He has no restrictions physically.''
Conte said that once the regimen is complete, it will take an additional two days for the blood thinners to leave Jansen's system. That would seem to indicate Jansen could be activated around the time the Dodgers begin a three-game series at Colorado on Aug. 19.
Jansen was nursing a 16-inning scoreless streak out of the bullpen for the Dodgers. He told the medical staff immediately after Tuesday night's game that he was feeling his heart beat strangely in his chest, but he said he had been feeling it since about 3 that afternoon.
"It felt like my heart was beating about three different heartbeats,'' Jansen said. "The top one was beating kind of fast, and lower down, it was beating out of control and didn't have any rhythm. There was no dizziness or anything, but I started to feel kind of tired, so I just went in there and let them know right away.''
Jansen said he wasn't scared until he was admitted to the hospital and told he would stay there for a couple of nights.
"But they let me know right away that a few players have gone through this before,'' he said. "That calmed me down a little bit.''
Meanwhile, right-hander Carlos Monasterios, who pitched in 32 games for the Dodgers last season as a rookie Rule 5 selection but had spent all of this season at Triple-A Albuquerque -- much of it on the disabled list -- underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery on July 15, a procedure that generally requires a recovery period of 12-16 months.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.