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McDonnell Podcast: Dodgers' Kenley Jansen

Kenley Jansen talks Dodgers, evolving as a closer, undergoing heart surgery and more.

Dodger closer Kenley Jansen began his baseball career as a catcher who threw so hard that he was converted to a pitcher.


In 2011, he dominated major league batters to the tune of sixteen strikeouts for every nine hitters he faced. And, much like all-time great closer Mariano Rivera, he is a master of the cutter. And only the cutter. Also like Rivera, he can't explain why he can get by with one pitch, but he does.


Last week he completed a rarity -- the reliever's perfect game -- as he retired 27 consecutive opposing batters.


Since he reclaimed the late-game role from Brandon League, he's recorded 19 saves and a 2.08 ERA. Remarkable numbers for a remarkable pitcher with a remarkable story.


He's been doing all of it following major off-season heart surgery that threatened to derail -- or even end -- his promising career.


After medication failed to cure Jansen's atrial fibrillation -- a potentially fatal condition that cause one's heart to flutter and skip beats -- a decision was made to perform a cardiac ablation. It's a procedure that burns out the portion of heart tissue causing the atrial  fibrillation.


On The Joe McDonnell Podcast ( click here to listen) Jansen talks about his medical condition, his resurgent career as a closer and the magnificent season the first-place Dodgers have put together.