Kenley Jansen and Dodgers silent about closer's unavailability

Kenley Jansen and Dodgers silent about closer's unavailability
Pitcher Kenley Jansen reacts after striking out Colorado's Wilin Rosario for the last out in 1-0 Dodgers win on May 17 at Dodger Stadium. (Victor Decolongon / Getty Images)

This much is certain: Kenley Jansen was unavailable to pitch Wednesday night when the Dodgers blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning and dropped a 7-6 decision to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

What remains unknown is why.


Jansen wouldn’t say. Manager Don Mattingly wouldn’t either.

The only morsel of information came from a team spokesman, who said Jansen "wasn't feeling well."

Why wasn't Jansen feeling well?

The spokesman wouldn't, or couldn't, elaborate.

The scene in the manager's office after the game was particularly bizarre. A clearly irritated Mattingly didn't want to talk about Jansen's situation any more than Dodgers President Stan Kasten has wanted to talk about how the majority of Los Angeles still can't watch the team on television.

Asked why Jansen didn't pitch the ninth inning, Mattingly replied, "He wasn't available."

Was he sick or injured?

"He just wasn't available," Mattingly said.

Was Jansen unavailable from the time the game started? Or did his status change during the game?

"Really more during the game," Mattingly said.

Something happened?

"He was not available," Mattingly said.

Would Jansen be available today when the Dodgers open a four-game series at Dodger Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals?

"He was not available today," Mattingly said.


Mattingly was asked again if Jansen's absence was health-related?

"I really can't," he replied. "He was just unavailable tonight."

Was there a privacy issue that would prevent Mattingly from discussing the situation?

"He was unavailable," Mattingly said. "I don't know who wants to talk about it. I'm not the one who's going to talk about it, though. He was unavailable."

Jansen said even less.

Returning from the showers, Jansen changed in front of his locker. He and a team spokesman whispered to each other, after which the spokesman said Jansen wouldn't address reporters.

The spokesman later said Jansen hadn't been traded or suspended.

Later in the night, ESPN analyst Rick Sutcliffe posted on his Twitter account: "Sending my prayers to #Dodgers and closer @kenleyjansen74."

Sutcliffe was part of the broadcast team that covered the game.

Jansen has a history of heart problems. He experienced an irregular heartbeat while in Colorado in 2012 and had an operation before the start of the following season.

With Jansen unavailable, Mattingly used four relievers in a nightmarish ninth inning. The Dodgers entered the inning with a 6-4 lead, but Adam Liberatore, Yimi Garcia, J.P. Howell and Chris Hatcher combined to give up three runs.