Considering how badly the Dodgers handled the Kenley Jansen situation Wednesday night, they pretty much had nothing but good news on Thursday (days corrected).
Jansen was bothered by minor symptoms Wednesday -– head and stomach aches -- but when his blood pressure rose, it was decided to shut him down for the night. Thursday he was back with the team and cleared by doctors to pitch.
So the silence from the Dodgers and Jansen over his not being available to close in Denver on Wednesday that opened themselves to all kinds of speculation -- heart, trade, suspension? -- apparently caused a lot of unnecessary unease.
Jansen had surgery for an irregular heartbeat after the 2012 season so when his blood pressure rose, Manager Don Mattingly said no one wanted to take any chances. The heart had acted up in 2012 after also pitching in Denver.
“Even though I had the heart surgery, there’s still a chance of A-fib, particularly at high evaluation,” Jansen said. “In the beginning, you feel like all that memory, all the stuff that happened to you, 'here we go again.' You definitely, you see how the night’s going, you feel like you let all your teammates down, all that stuff.”
Mattingly said he knew by the fifth inning of Wednesday’s long game in Denver that Jansen would not be available. The right-hander was inside receiving an IV. Without Jansen to close, the Dodgers’ bullpen blew a 6-4 lead in the ninth inning.
Jansen said his high blood pressure was largely a result of the high altitude in Denver.
“It’s tough for me,” he said. “Elevation causes it. Traveling a lot, your body probably gets fatigued and dehydrated. I just tried to stay calm in that situation.”
After the game Mattingly appeared angry when asked about Jansen’s lack of availability after the loss, saying Jansen was unavailable and he wasn’t going to be the one to discuss it. Jansen also refused to talk to the media after the game, fueling all kinds of speculation.
“It’s tough. You feel like you let the teammates down and it wasn’t a particularly good time to talk about my medical history,” Jansen said.
Mattingly said Jansen was checked over by his doctor Thursday, cleared all tests and is immediately available to pitch.
“Given his history, we just weren’t going to take any chances,” Mattingly said.
Mattingly said after Thursday’s loss he was more angry about losing the game than continued questions about Jansen.
“I think you’re angry just because we lost a tough game,” he said. “Nothing to be angry at Kenley about.”