In the course of his career, Kenley Jansen has taken the ball 264 times with a lead and closed a game out for the win. The path has become a familiar one for 30-year old reliever. On Monday, upon joining the team in Cincinnati; Jansen announced he will go down another familiar path.
Jansen is set to undergo offseason heart surgery for the second time. He first underwent an ablation to correct his re-occurring heart issue in 2012.
Jansen did not idle during his days away from the team. He maintained his exercise regimen so he could pitch in this series. He visited his cardiologist Thursday and underwent an examination Friday. The tests firmed up Jansen’s expectation of undergoing a second ablation to correct his irregular heartbeat.
Jansen said he intended to have the operation performed two weeks after the season ended. He underwent a similar procedure in 2012.
“My cardiologist said he was definitely going to find something in there,” Jansen said. “That’s why they did the MRI, too. They’re going to study the heart more.”
Kenley Jansen said he met with his cardiologist Thursday and Friday and underwent an MRI as part of planning for surgery. Will do it 2 weeks after #Dodgers season ends (whenever that is)
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) September 10, 2018
No greater sacrifice could be made as a teammate than a man who puts aside his own health concerns and takes the ball with such an ailment. Since tinkering with medication that made him feel sluggish, the effectiveness in the superstar’s repertoire has returned to form.
Jansen indicated he had resumed taking the medication that affected him during his initial return from the disabled list in August. His doctors decreased his dosage, which Jansen said allowed him to compete without feeling sluggish.
Jansen is under contract with the Dodgers until after the 2021 season. He still figures to have a long career, one that may someday see him amongst the all-time saves leaders in baseball.
Still, with much of his baseball life story left unwritten; perhaps the most important chapter will be this one. Nevertheless, Jansen’s true character should be measured by how he weathered the storm in the face of such overwhelming odds in 2018.
Obviously, we’re all keeping our fingers crossed for a strong finish to Jansen’s 2018 season. That said, the organization as well as fans should keep an eye on how his recovery from this heart condition goes through the winter. Many questions in the future remain unanswered. Will he ever pitch in Colorado again? Does this injury ultimately shorten what is becoming a near Hall of Fame career? With just weeks left in the regular season, this is something we figure to be writing about for a long time. And we’re pulling for this harder than we ever have any final out that Jansen has recorded.
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