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Dodgers

Kenley Jansen will pay for treatment for multiple sclerosis patient

The story tugged at Kenley Jansen’s heart.

A vibrant young man, struck by an awful disease, forced into a wheelchair. An experimental treatment is available, but he cannot afford it.

The man lives halfway around the world, in the Netherlands. Jansen has never met him, or even heard of him.

The man has multiple sclerosis. If he can raise 65,000 euros — about $78,000 — he can travel to Russia and undergo stem cell therapy.

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He signed up for treatment in February, but he had to cancel when his fundraising fell short. Even months of selling cookies for 1 euro and barbecue dinners for 12 euros could not get the man close to his goal.

The man’s name is Amadeo Ellensburg, and soon he will head to Russia. Jansen said he has agreed to pay the remaining 60,000 euros — about $72,000 — necessary for the treatment.

“This is a guy that has tried to get help for a long time,” Jansen said. “I just wanted to help.”

Jansen and his brother heard about Ellensburg’s story on social media. His brother still lives in Curacao, where Jansen grew up, and the island’s residents are Dutch citizens.

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Jansen said he has not visited the Netherlands since 2009. He said he hopes to visit next winter, and he would love to meet Ellensburg. He did not seek to publicize his donation; the story spread across the Netherlands after Ellensburg shared it this week on Facebook.

“Thanks to Kenley Jansen and his brother, my dream comes true,” the 25-year-old wrote.

If the treatment succeeds — there is no guarantee — he might be able to walk again.

Said Jansen: “I can’t help everybody, but to see him struggle as a young kid like that, it stops your heart. Hopefully he becomes better, lives life healthy, and enjoys his family. You just want to see him healthy and back on his feet.”

Not this roster

The Dodgers’ front office prizes players who are versatile in the field, but not so much at bat. The Dodgers are averaging three runs per game this month — down from five last month — but manager Dave Roberts explained why they cannot easily shift into the mode of manufacturing runs.

Chase Utley, Tyler Mahle, Tucker Barnhart, Bill Miller
Los Angeles Dodgers' Chase Utley hits an RBI single off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle, front, during the first inning.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press )

“You have to look at who you have and manage accordingly,” Roberts said. “When we’re walking, we’re slugging, that’s the profile of our players. That’s what they do.

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“To ask our guys to hit and run, they’re not guys that handle the bat to hit and run. Outside of Chase Utley, we don’t have guys who do that. We don’t have guys that typically bunt.”

They don’t have guys that typically steal, either. That means that a bunt could be foiled if the runner on base is not fast enough to advance.

The cardinal rule of managing, after all, is to put players in a position to succeed.

“It’s not easy just to say do this, do that, do this, when you don’t have the personnel that is conducive to that type of style,” he said.

“To change the way I manage guys, that, for me, would be a flawed thought process. I believe in our offense. I believe that it will correct itself and get better. It has to. And, ultimately, we’ll start to win more baseball games.”

New arm, or two

The Dodgers added an ambidextrous reliever, returning Brock Stewart to triple-A Oklahoma City and calling up Pat Venditte.

Stewart throws with his right hand. Venditte throws with both hands.

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“He’s two pitchers in one,” Roberts said.

Venditte, 32, tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings Saturday. He previously pitched for the Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin


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