Los Angeles Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen began feeling pain in his left foot after running last. After being examined, a growth was found on one of the bones in Jansen’s foot.
The growth was removed Tuesday by doctors at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. According to a statement issued by the team Jansen will be out for approximately 8-12 weeks, spending the first 10 days on crutches plus another three to four weeks in a protective walking boot.
Pitchers and catchers, for the Dodgers and Major League Baseball’s other 29 teams, over the next three days. Jansen will miss all of spring training and the beginning of the 2015 regular season.
The Dodgers are now left with a looming question mark in a bullpen that is already a glaring weakness for a team that has a $200 million-plus payroll. Who will close in place of Kenley Jansen?
The Dodgers bullpen last season let them and 2014 N.L. MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw down during the regular season, finishing with the fourth worst ERA in the National League, and even moreso during the playoffs.
Their lack of ability to use bullpen arms to replace their high-end starters like Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke, led to them leaving their starters in too long.
Much too long in Kershaw’s case. His disasterous seventh-inning outings were a huge part of the Dodgers being eliminated from the post season in the National League Division Series by the St. Louis Cardinals.
The team doesn’t really have an in-house option and new president of baseball operations Andrew Freidman might have to make a move to fill the hole left by Jansen.
The 27-year-old right-hander posted a 2.67 ERA and collected 44 saves in 49 opportunities in 2014. Possible in-house replacements include everyone from Brandon League and J.P. Howell to younger arms Pedro Baez and Yimi Garcia to newer off-season acquisitions Juan Nicasio and Joel Peralta.
While these players, and a couple more like David Aardsma and Sergio Santos, are all possibilties, it’s more likely Freidman will be looking on the free agent market. Closers Francisco Rodriguez and Rafael Soriano are still job-searching and it’s been rumored that Freidman is already looking into the pair.
He could always try to make a deal for Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon,
For more analysis of what direction Friedman might go in to fill the void left by Jansen you can read my entire post on Baseball Hot Corner via the link below: