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MLB

Kenley Jansen sidelined with irregular heartbeat

The Atlanta Braves have placed closer Kenley Jansen on the 15-day injured list due to a recurring irregular heartbeat that has dogged him for a decade

Update:
The Atlanta Braves have placed closer Kenley Jansen on the 15-day injured list due to a recurring irregular heartbeat that has dogged him for a decade
Kevin C. CoxAFP

Kenley Jansen was a star member of the formidable LA Dodgers bullpen last season, before being picked up on a one-year, $16 million contract by the World Series champion Atlanta Braves in the off-season. A fantastic investment that comes with one caveat. He has an atrial fibrillation.

First diagnosed in 2011 with the condition, Jansen has undergone surgical procedures in 2012 and again in 2018 to help control his arrhythmia. He has taken beta blockers, aspirin, and blood thinners at various points to reduce his risk of blood clots.

The 34-year-old Curaçaoan right-hander has a regimen of diet and exercise to deal with the condition, and the Braves are confident that he will be ready to return after a minimal time recovering. He has produced a 3.58 ERA and has clocked 47 Ks in 32.2 innings pitched this season. If Atlanta is to maintain its chase of the Mets in the NL East, they can ill afford to lose a talent like that in the closer spot.

Jansen’s placement on the IL was backdated to Monday, which would make him eligible for the roster just before the All-Star break.

It would appear that Sunday’s outing, when the Braves blew a 2-0 lead to the Dodgers, was the stress factor that alerted team medics to the issue. Jansen struck out the first two batters before surrendering three consecutive singles to the Blues.

Atlanta will likely call on the arm of Will Smith or A.J. Minter in Jansen’s absence, while also hedging their bets by calling up Jesus Cruz from Triple-A.

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