Kenley Jansen hospitalized
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers rookie reliever Kenley Jansen was transported to a local hospital for treatment of an irregular heartbeat shortly after recording his second save of the season Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies. Although he was expected to remain at White Memorial Hospital through Wednesday night for observation, the situation didn't appear to be serious.
Still, Jansen did have to undergo cardio conversion -- the procedure of shocking the heart back into its normal rhythm -- when medication didn't immediately correct the problem.
"Anytime you have an irregular heartbeat, we take it pretty seriously," Dodgers medical-services director Stan Conte said. "They were able to get his heart back into normal sinus rhythm. The next 24 hours will tell us what we want to do next."
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Jansen, 23, told Conte after the game that he felt a "flutter," and that he also had felt it earlier in the day, hours before the game. Dr. Mary Gendy, one of the Dodgers' team physicians, administered an EKG exam at the ballpark that revealed the irregularity, and the decision was instantly made to drive Jansen to the hospital.
Once there, Jansen was examined by Dr. Tony Nguyen, a cardiologist at White Memorial. Jansen also underwent an echocardiogram as well as other specialized cardiac testing.
Conte said the situation isn't career-threatening for Jansen, and while he wouldn't rule out a trip to the disabled list, he did say it wasn't likely. Conte cited a similar situation several years ago with then-Dodgers reliever Joe Beimel, whose heart also had to be shocked into normal rhythm and who pitched in a game for the Dodgers two days later.
Jansen presumably wouldn't have been available to pitch on Wednesday night against the Rockies anyway because he had pitched each of the previous three days and four of the previous five. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he was told Jansen could be available to pitch again as soon as Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Conte said Jansen has no history of heart issues, but Mattingly said he has been closely monitored by the medical staff this season because a minor irregularity was detected during a routine physical exam at the start of spring training.
The smoke-throwing Jansen has a 3.65 ERA in 34 major league appearances this season after making his major league debut last year. He presently is nursing a 16-inning scoreless streak, during which he has allowed three hits and struck out 26 batters. He presently leads all major league pitchers with at least 25 innings pitched with 14.84 strikeouts per nine innings. He was optioned to Double-A Chattanooga on May 1 but returned five days later, and he also spent three weeks on the DL with right-shoulder inflammation.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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