Dodgers will begin the season without a closer after Kenley Jansen injures foot.

Kenley Jansen

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen saved 44 games in 2014, his first full season as the Dodgers’ closer. (Getty Images)

About a month ago, I wrote that the Dodgers’ bullpen could be a weakness if Kenley Jansen got hurt.

We’re about to find out if that’s true.

Jansen, who saved 44 games in 49 opportunities in his first full season as the Dodgers’ closer last year, had surgery Tuesday to remove a growth from a bone in his left foot. He is expected to miss the next 8-12 weeks.

The 27-year-old pitcher had been training at Dodger Stadium since January. According to the team, Jansen first reported discomfort in his left foot while running last week. A subsequent x-ray, MRI and CT scan showed the problem in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot. The surgery was performed by Drs. Earl Brien and David Thordarson under the direction of Dr. Neal ElAttrache at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. Continue reading

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Brian Wilson exercises player option for 2015.

Brian Wilson

Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson blew four of five save opportunities in 2014. He will make $9.5 million next season. (Getty Images)

Brian Wilson exercised a player option in his contract that will pay the right-hander $9.5 million in 2015.

Wilson made 61 appearances in 2014, all but six of which came in the eighth inning or later. He began the season as the primary set-up man to Kenley Jansen, but finished the season as more of a situational eighth-inning reliever. Wilson struggled to retire left-handed hitters all season (.914 OPS) and blew four of the five save opportunities he was given.

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Dodgers announce NLDS roster; Paco Rodriguez, Joc Pederson, Darwin Barney cut.

The Dodgers will carry 12 pitchers and 13 position players on their roster for the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Among the final cuts were left-hander Paco Rodriguez, outfielder Joc Pederson and infielder Darwin Barney.

The Dodgers will carry four starting pitchers and eight relievers, including two left-handers: Scott Elbert and J.P. Howell.

Here is the complete roster:
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One clarification on MLB’s theraputic-use exemption policy.

I reported Friday that Dodgers pitcher J.P. Howell had a theraputic use exemption under MLB’s drug policy to use an amphetamine to treat Attention Deficit Disorder in 2008.

“They monitor how you take it, how much is in your system,” Howell said. “The milligram amount, if it’s above or below what’s expected on your prescription, that’s considered a fail.”

Howell corrected himself today. He said that, in the scenario quoted above, a player wouldn’t be considered to have failed a drug test if he has the TUE. He merely loses his TUE.

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Dodgers activate Paco Rodriguez, are flush with left-handed relievers.

SAN FRANCISCO >> One day after Scott Elbert gave the Dodgers two left-handed relievers, Paco Rodriguez made it a threesome. He was activated Saturday from the disabled list, where he’d been mired since August 4 with a strained left teres major muscle.

Rodriguez has appeared in 13 games for the Dodgers this season, firing scoreless relief in 10 of those appearances. He’s 3-5 with two saves and a 2.52 ERA (20 ER/71.1 IP) in 100 career games.

Left-hander J.P. Howell has been the Dodgers’ southpaw workhorse, appearing in 64 games this season. Only eight lefties have appeared in more games in the National League this season. However, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has no plans on changing the Dodgers’ late-innings mix:

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