Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen saved 44 games in 2014, his first full season as the Dodgers’ closer. (Getty Images)
When Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen underwent bone-graft surgery in his left foot in February, worry was a natural reaction. The front office spent the winter re-making the bullpen, going from a roster rich with rich former closers into a younger, less experienced unit.
Here we are on May 15, Jansen hasn’t pitched an inning and the Dodgers’ bullpen has been one of the most reliable in the majors.
Of course, rookie Yimi Garcia has blown two saves in two opportunities this week, so maybe Jansen is returning to the active roster at a good time. Still, he won’t be the Dodgers’ closer tonight and Jansen is OK with that. Actually, he prefers it this way.
The Dodgers placed Pedro Baez on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a strained right pectoral muscle. The 27-year-old pitcher said he believes he won’t need more than the couple weeks to come back, but the Dodgers are concerned enough that Baez won’t be cleared to throw for a couple days.
Baez exited Wednesday’s game against the Miami Marlins after he threw a 94-mph fastball that Dee Gordon hit for a double in the eighth inning. Baez had been touching 99 mph on the radar gun with his fastball prior to that pitch.
“(The injury) happened during Dee Gordon’s at-bat,” Baez said through an interpreter. “The last three pitches I felt a little bit of discomfort.”
Baez said the muscle wasn’t causing him any pain Thursday and it’s the first time he’s had such an injury.
Left-hander Daniel Coulombe was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take Baez’s place on the 25-man roster. Right-hander Kenley Jansen is also eligible to be activated after completing his rehab assignment with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday.
While Jansen said he’s mentally and physically ready to return, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he’d prefer to wait until Saturday before the closer is activated. Whether Jansen is activated Friday or Saturday, Mattingly said, depends on what happens in the course of Thursday’s game.
Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton couldn’t get this ball hit by Alex Guerrero in fourth inning. Guerrero was able to reach third base on what was scored a triple. (David Crane/Staff photographer)
The Dodgers ran out of mojo Wednesday.
Pedro Baez‘s pectoral gave out, and the Dodgers’ five-game winning streak followed. It was the first time they had lost a game this year in which they scored four runs. Read about the game, and Baez’s injury, and the controversial catch by Giancarlo Stanton here.
I talked to Chris Hatcher about facing his former team before the game. His familiarity with Stanton did not serve him well.
On a positive note, Kiké Hernandez said he told hitting coach Mark McGwire before this game that he would hit a home run. He did. It was his first in a Dodgers uniform.
The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.