Closer Kenley Jansen will learn on Tuesday if he will pitch again this season.
That determination will be made by a heart specialist, who will instruct Jansen whether to continue using a blood-thinning medication he is using to treat a heart condition.
If Jansen stops using the medication, he can pitch as early as Sept. 7 in San Francisco. If not, he will not be able to compete for four weeks, which will all but end his season.
Jansen started using the medication after he was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat earlier this week in Denver. The medication prevents clots and strokes but can also cause severe bleeding. Because Jansen could bleed to death if struck by a baseball, he is prohibited from even sitting in the clubhouse or dugout while taking it.
“It’s frustrating,” Jansen said. “You see all your teammates working hard and busting their butts every day. You want to be out there helping your teammates win games.”
Ronald Belisario and Brandon League will split closing duties in Jansen’s absence.
Jansen was sidelined for almost a month last year with a similar heart problem.
He said he felt the latest symptoms while on a trainer’s table on Tuesday in Denver. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he spent the night. His heart was shocked back into rhythm the next day.
Jansen will continue throwing, in case he can come back. Jansen threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Friday and plans to play catch on Saturday.
If the heart specialist tells him he has to shut himself down for the remainder of the season, he will accept it.
“It’s my life,” Jansen said. “I can’t play around with that. What can I do?”
Three more years
Vin Scully isn’t the only Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster who will be returning next season. So will Jaime Jarrin.
Jarrin, who is completing his 54th season as the team’s Spanish-language radio voice, has signed a three-year contract extension that will run through the 2015 season. His tenure with the Dodgers is the second-longest in major league broadcasting history, behind only Scully’s, which is at 63 seasons.
“I love what I do,” Jarrin said. “This has nothing to do with money. I love doing what I do.”
Jarrin, 76, was asked if he could continue broadcasting games in his 80s.
“I don’t know,” he said. “It depends if I’m still in good health.”
Major league teams can have as many as 40 players on their active rosters starting Saturday, and triple-A catcher Tim Federowicz will be part of the first wave of players called up, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said.
Javy Guerra is also likely to be called up.
Shortstop Dee Gordon, who is recovering from a thumb operation, will remain with triple-A Albuquerque until the end of its season. The Isotopes end their regular season on Monday but could make the playoffs.
Outfielders Tony Gwynn Jr. and Bobby Abreu are also in triple A and could be called up but would first have to be added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster. Both players were designated for assignment earlier this month.