Kenley Jansen to injured list with irregular heartbeat

PHILADELPHIA — Braves closer Kenley Jansen will miss a couple weeks because of an irregular heartbeat, a condition he has dealt with throughout his long and successful career.

The Braves placed Jansen on the 15-day injured list and recalled right-handed reliever Jesús Cruz from Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday. Jansen felt his heart get out of rhythm before Atlanta traveled to Philadelphia on Monday afternoon.

“He’s been dealing with it for a long time,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I think after dealing with it for a couple days, he’ll start throwing and keeping his arm strong.”

Jansen will spend most of the next couple weeks playing catch and bullpen sessions. The expectation is he’ll be ready when he is eligible to come off the injured list on July 12.

“I don’t think there is anything to lead us to believe it will be more than that,” Snitker said.

Jansen has long dealt with atrial fibrillation, commonly known as AFib. This is a condition caused by an extremely fast heartbeat. The 34-year-old reliever underwent a catheter ablation in the left atrium of his heart after the 2012 season to cauterize the damaged area and prevent it from generating abnormal electrical signals.

When this same condition sidelined Jansen in 2018, he was shut down on Aug. 8 and pitched again for the Dodgers on Aug. 20. His absence this year may be just a couple days longer, as the minimum stay for a pitcher on the injured list has since moved from 10 days to 15 days.

Jansen underwent another ablation procedure after the 2018 season. He has spent the past few years managing the situation without being shut down.

With Jansen sidelined, the Braves could use AJ Minter or Will Smith as their closer.

Jansen has posted a 3.58 ERA while converting 20 of 24 save opportunities this year. The veteran suffered one of his four blown saves against the Dodgers on Sunday, after he was one strike away from sealing a victory. His 370 saves rank second among active pitchers behind Craig Kimbrel’s 385.

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