Braves closer Kenley Jansen goes on injured list with irregular heartbeat

ATLANTA — It’s something that Atlanta Braves closer Kenley Jansen has dealt with since he started playing baseball and it’s flared up again.

An irregular heartbeat.

On Tuesday morning, the Braves announced that one of their prize free-agent signees and the team’s closer this season is heading to the Disabled List, after the issue cropped up again.

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Jansen was first diagnosed with the atrial fibrillation issue in 2011 as a rookie with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was put on blood thinners and finished that season, but the issue flared up again the following season.

After a heart ablation procedure at the end of 2012, Jansen largely remained healthy until the heart problems came back in 2018. He took some medication to get through 2018 and after the season ended, he had a second ablation procedure done.

After spending his entire career in Los Angeles with the Dodgers, the Braves signed the 6-foot, 5-inch Curacao native was signed to a one-year, $16 million contract.

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Jansen has pitched well for the Braves this season. He has won four games and has 20 saves so far.

The team has not said who will take over his role closing out games. The most likely candidates would be Will Smith, who was the closer last season or A.J. Minter, who has arguably been the teams best relief pitcher this season and also has experience as the closer.

To take Jansen’s place on the roster, Atlanta recalled pitcher Jesus Cruz from Gwinnett.

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Atlanta is 42-35 so far on the season and they begin a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night in Philadelphia.