Dodgers @ Rockies August 10, 2018: The show must go on without Kenley Jansen

(Via)

The Dodgers (64-52) will have to forge on without one of their most important players, Kenley Jansen. Jansen will reportedly miss about a month while being treated for an irregular heartbeat. The 30-year old reliever was hospitalized prior to Thursday’s game in Colorado and then returned to L.A. to meet with his cardiologist. Jansen has had a history of heart problems that seem to be affected by the altitude in Denver when they travel to play the Rockies. Jansen underwent a three-hour ablation surgery to correct his irregular heartbeat in October 2012.

Dustin looked at some options for the bullpen while Jansen is out, but there’s not really a clear choice to slot into the closer role in Kenley’s absence. We don’t know exactly how Jansen will be treated or if he’ll need another ablation procedure. Kenley’s health is paramount to a pennant race especially considering that his wife Gianni is pregnant with their second child. Kenley also has a four-year old daughter. Here’s to a speedy recovery, Kenley.

Dodgers
Rockies
5:40 PM
Colorado
LF
Pederson
CF
Blackmon
3B
Turner
2B
LeMahieu
C Grandal
RF
Gonzalez
2B
Dozier
3B
Arenado
CF
Bellinger
SS
Story
SS
Taylor
LF
Dahl
3B
Muncy 1B Desmond
RF
Puig
C
Iannetta
P
Maeda (R)
P
Gray (R)

The dongs must go on. They surely did last night when the Dodgers blasted five late-inning home runs to beat the Rockies (60-55) in the series opener. Now the Dodgers turn to Kenta Maeda to keep the party going at Coors as they continue their battle for first place in the NL West.

Maeda (7-7, 3.73 ERA, 3.19 FIP) has hit a bit of a rough stretch. In his last three games, he allowed 13 runs and four home runs. He only allowed one home run in his seven games prior to that. Coors Field is of course not the optimal place to pitch when you’ve had a bit of a home run problem recently. Overall in his career, Maeda has pitched pretty well at Coors and is 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA in five games (four starts) in the tree-lined dong palace. He’s allowed three home runs in 24 innings pitched there.

Maeda lost to the Rockies on June 30 at Dodger stadium, but he only allowed two earned runs on five hits with nine strikeouts and two walks in seven innings. Maeda has a overall 2.18 ERA in nine career games (seven starts) against the Rox. Chris Iannetta is 4-for-12 against Maeda with two home runs.

Maeda has definitely earned his spot in the Dodgers’ rotation, and he’s been one of the most consistent and effective starters this year with his improved changeup and increased strikeout rate (28%). A lot could be riding on this start for Maeda, although it really shouldn’t.

A move to the bullpen would also affect Maeda’s incentives on the year as Daniel pointed out.

Jon Gray (9-7, 4.73 ERA, 3.11 FIP) was briefly sent down to Triple-A Albuquerque for two games where he struck out 13 in 10 2/3 innings. He’s made four starts since returning from his minor-league stint, striking out 25 with a 1.52 ERA in 29 2/3 innings. Overall in his career, Gray is 3-3 with a 3.43 ERA against the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig is 4-for-10 (.400) with two doubles vs. Gray.

——

With his start in center field, Cody Bellinger makes a bit of history.

Jansen was placed on the 10-day DL, and Pat Venditte was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The Dodgers’ bullpen has been a revolving door of sorts this year. Heck, Venditte has been called up like seven times? Without Jansen as the anchor, the pen feels like a boat adrift in the sea of late-inning matchups. Grab your life vests.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.