Kenley Jansen returns from the 15-day disabled list at a good time for the Dodgers.

Kenley Jansen

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.

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Dodgers’ Alex Guerrero, Adrian Gonzalez collect monthly honors.

Alex Guerrero

Alex Guerrero is the National League rookie of the month for April. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)


MILWAUKEE — Two Dodgers players earned trophies from MLB Monday. Adrian Gonzalez was hardly a surprise pick as the National League’s Player of the Month after leading all qualified batters with a .790 slugging percentage and hitting five home runs in the Dodgers’ first three games. No player had achieved the latter feat in baseball history.

The Dodgers have the National League’s top rookie for April as well, but it isn’t Joc Pederson.

Alex Guerrero was given the honor after leading qualified NL rookies with a .423 batting average (11-for-26) and a 1.077 slugging percentage last month, and ranked first among NL rookies and tied for seventh overall in home runs (5) and RBI (13).

Guerrero said he was not aware the award existed before Monday. Since his batting average peaked at .500 on April 26, Guerrero has one hit in his past 12 at-bats. He was benched on Monday in favor of Juan Uribe at third base and Scott Van Slyke in left field against Brewers right-hander Kyle Lohse.

Pederson and rookie reliever Yimi Garcia were listed among the runners up for the award.

Dodgers might not use Kenley Jansen as their closer when he returns from the DL.

Kenley Jansen

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

Kenley Jansen begins his rehab assignment tonight for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s expected to pitch the first inning, then come out of the game. If all goes well, he’ll start again for the Quakes on Sunday.

The rehab assignment is expected to span “at least 5 or 6″ appearances, according to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. In theory, then, Jansen might rejoin the Dodgers on May 11, when they return home from next week’s road trip through Milwaukee and Denver.

Jansen has been the Dodgers’ closer for all or part of the last three seasons. Naturally, he’d be the Dodgers’ closer again when he returns, right?

Not necessarily, Mattingly said Friday.

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