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07/29/11 10:00 PM ET
Dodgers put Jansen on DL with heart condition
By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers placed right-handed reliever Kenley Jansen on the disabled list Friday with a cardiac arrhythmia. It came three days after he was taken to the hospital with an irregular heartbeat. Jansen was placed on blood thinners Thursday night and will take them for three weeks. He can still participate in full bullpen sessions and workouts, trainer Stan Conte said. The Dodgers placed him on the disabled list as a precaution, to avoid any type of blow to the head while on blood thinners. As a result, Jansen won't be on the field during batting practice or in the dugout during games. The team is wary of a stray ball striking him in the head. Instead, he'll watch from the bullpen, wearing a catchers helmet. Conte said the Dodgers consulted about seven physicians throughout the country as to whether it was necessary to put Jansen on blood thinners. If it wasn't, Conte said there was a small chance a blood clot that could cause a stroke, although Conte called the chances of that "infinitesimal." Ultimately, the decision was placed in Jansen's hands, and he summed it up rather succinctly: "health first, baseball second." "It was frustrating, but at the same time you've gotta take care of your health first," said Jansen, who has been one of the Dodgers' hottest pitchers with 16 consecutive scoreless innings. Without your health, you can't do anything." Conte said Jansen could be fully ready to go in about three weeks, once the blood thinners are out of his system. To make sure that's happened, Jansen will be taken to cardiologists Tony Nguyen (White Memorial Hospital) and Sumeet Chugh (Cedar Sinai Medical Center) for frequent checkups. Jansen was taken to White Memorial following Tuesday's game after he had complained of feeling a "flutter." He was administered an EKG at Dodger Stadium before undergoing a cardio conversion to get rhythm back to his heartbeat by shocking it with electrodes. Jansen said the medical staff kept him in the loop the entire time he was being examined. He said he felt a bit nervous after he was administered an EKG, but calmed down when he was informed that nothing serious was imminent. He was released from the hospital Thursday, completely healthy, Conte said, although several tests could not determine the cause of the arrhythmia. Conte noted that former Dodgers pitcher Joe Beimel had the same condition, but opted against blood thinners. Conte was unsure why Beimel made the decision, but said he is fairly certain it had very little to do with baseball. "This really was a health issue in regard to something way, way past baseball and sports," Conte said. Jansen, a rookie, has allowed opponents a mere .059 batting average since he returned on June 18 from a stint on the DL (sore shoulder). He is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA in 34 appearances on the season. In Jansen's place, the Dodgers recalled right-hander Josh Lindblom from Double-A Chattanooga. In eight games with the Dodgers this season, Lindblom allowed two runs in 10 2/3 innings. Manager Don Mattingly said Mike MacDougal will fill the eighth-inning role that Jansen had fallen into during the past few weeks.
AJ Cassavell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.