Kenley Jansen

As a major talking point during the 2014 season due to their inconsistency, improving the bullpen was one of the focal points for the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason.

While president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi reworked the group of relievers on the roster, they were dealt a major loss Tuesday as the Dodgers announced closer Kenley Jansen will miss the next 8-12 weeks after undergoing surgery to remove a growth from a bone in his left foot.

The 27 year old is expected to be on crutches for an estimated 10 days followed by a wearing a boot for 3-4 weeks. Should Jansen manage to recover in time to return in eight weeks, he only would have missed the first one or two games of the 2015 season. A 12-week recovery entails the Dodgers being without Jansen for roughly 30 games.

Jansen reported feeling discomfort last week and subsequently underwent multiple tests, which revealed the growth. The power right-hander converted a career-high 44 saves last season and moved up to fifth on the Dodgers’ all-times saves leaders list. One day prior to news of Jansen’s surgery, the Dodgers were reported to have been searching for another reliever.

It was the second such time since January there’s been a report of that kind, though Monday’s appears to have come with the Dodgers expecting to not have Jansen for the foreseeable future. While the Dodgers have managed to add new reliever to the roster, they lack an odds-on favorite to replace Jansen for the time being.

Brandon League has significant experience as a closer, but struggled in the role since being traded to the Dodgers in 2012. Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell, Joel Peralta are likely other relievers who will be given an opportunity to assume the role.

If the Dodgers are to look for an answer currently outside of the organization, Francisco Rodriguez and Rafael Soriano are available free agents. They managed to win 94 games and the National League West division last season despite losing Clayton Kershaw for the first six weeks and they are now tasked with succeeding without Jansen.

Dodgers pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training on Thursday.

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

9 Responses

  1. Alex

    Man, a good closer is responsible for a lot of wins. Giants started free falling mid last year when Sergio Romo started sucking for a while.

    This will not be a good start for the Friedman era unless someone else miraculously comes in and pitches lights out.

    Reply
  2. Tmax

    May need to spend some money and sign Francisco Rodriguez AKA K-Rod to grab some innings. If Jansen misses 30 or so games that is not good. Foot injuries are funny things as it will throw off your gate and for a pitcher landing different can and will effect the shoulder so they need to make sure he is OK before he returns.

    Reply
    • Michael N. Norris

      Well here is a thought…League has been a closer…….Or why not Hatcher? He has a fastball that is good enough supposedly, why pay Rodriguez the kind of money he is going to want for a 30 day guy? Cannot see that…Aardsma and Santos also have closed. So has Howell…so there are in house options. Baez has the heater to do it. Just no experience

      Reply
      • Ryan Smith

        League threw good last year, even though everyone talks shit about him. Besides with him being a groundball pitcher and our new defensive advantage I say he might be able to be lights out

  3. Bob Rohwer

    Just NOW feels discomfort? Really? This should have been dealt with a month ago.

    Reply
  4. Luciano Beltran

    No closer for 30 games. Well, the Dodgers will have to lead most of their games with three or more runs for that period. How unfortunate.

    Reply
  5. Ryan Smith

    League threw good the last 1/2 even though everyone talks shit ???? about him. And with our new defense and the fact he is a ground ball pitcher he might do well. Wilson, Perez, and League all get ground balls just they all went into the outfield last year, Wilson and Howell had alot to over the outfield too but hey.

    Reply
  6. William Jay Culver

    A little premature to push the panic button and sign guys like Pap/K-Rod/Soriano. Let’s see if someone can emerge from the guys we have under contract and maybe even a guy who is a NRI. There are plenty of teams out there who have had success with using closers by committee. We just have to keep the faith and thank the powers that be that this didn’t happen in game 140. As for the problem itself listen I’ve experienced floating calcium deposits that all of a sudden crop when I least expect it. It’s not like Shaq for instance who knew of an injury and put it off until the Lakers ended up using there insurance to pay it. Nothing to see here folks.

    Reply

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