Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who has struggled badly since returning from the disabled list after a second diagnosis of an irregular heartbeat, says he’s had enough of his heart medicine and what it has done to his on-field performance.
Since being activated and while on medication, which he says he discontinued on Sunday, Jansen went 0-2 with a blown save while allowing seven hits, five runs (all earned) and four home runs in three outings, one inning each.
Jansen compared the feeling he would get on the field to “sleepwalking,” when instead he needs what he called “the good anxiety” to pitch his best.
“I thought the first day maybe it would get better,” Jansen said of being on the medication while pitching. “Then the second day, it was the same. And the third day ...”
He said the medication “might be making sure my heart doesn’t stop. But I told my doctor I can’t pitch like this,” Jansen said. He added that his cardiologist told him it was “safe” to quit taking the medicine.
Jansen had heart surgery after his first diagnosis in 2012, and he said he expects to have another surgery this coming offseason. Both times the heartbeat issue arose, it was while pitching in the high altitude of Denver.
On Tuesday, with the Dodgers leading the Texas Rangers 8-2 in Arlington, Texas, Jansen was brought in to start the ninth inning.
He gave up three singles and a walk as the Rangers scored twice, but Jansen got Shin-Soo Choo to ground into a game-ending double play.
For the season, Jansen is 0-5 with a 3.09 ERA and 32 saves. He has blown four saves. Before his stint on the DL, his ERA was at 2.15.
—Field Level Media