The Dodgers got some bad news on Tuesday – closer Kenley Jansen is expected to miss 8-12 weeks following foot surgery. That timetable puts his return, at the earliest, a week into the 2015 season. Here’s the official press release from the club via Dodger Thoughts.
This morning at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Dodger pitcher Kenley Jansen underwent surgery to remove a growth from a bone in his left foot. This was discovered when Kenley reported discomfort while running last week. A subsequent X-Ray, MRI and CT scan showed the problem in the 5th metatarsal of his left foot. The surgery was performed by Drs. Earl Brien and David Thordarson under the direction of Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Jansen will be on crutches for about 10 days and then a boot for 3-4 weeks. How he progresses during the rehab process will determine his return to competition, but it is expected to be approximately 8-12 weeks.
Needless to say, this isn’t good news for the Dodgers and their newly rebuilt bullpen. Andrew Friedman and new GM Farhan Zaidi aimed to remake the Los Angeles bullpen in front of Jansen this winter, adding David Aardsma, Chris Hatcher, Adam Liberatore, Juan Nicasio, Joel Peralta, and Sergio Santos to compete for spots in the pen while dumping ineffective veterans Paul Maholm, Chris Perez, and Brian Wilson.
In 2014, Jansen struck out 101 hitters and walked just 19 over 65 1/3 innings while saving 44 games. Jansen has pitched four full years in the majors as a closer, and has never failed to strike out fewer than 96 hitters in a season.
He’s just a one inning reliever, but if Jansen will miss significant time, he’s still a big loss for Los Angeles. The Dodgers also don’t have an easy start to the season – they play the rebuilt Padres six times in the season’s first three weeks, the defending champion Giants six times in April, and the dangerous Mariners three times in the season’s first ten days.
Losing Jansen for the month wouldn’t be nearly as significant as losing someone like Clayton Kershaw or Yasiel Puig, but he’s still a vital part of the club’s success this year.