Dodgers activate Kenley Jansen
LOS ANGELES -- As expected, the Los Angeles Dodgers activated rookie reliever Kenley Jansen from the 15-day disabled list before Saturday night's game with the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium, almost three weeks after Jansen was sidelined with inflammation in his right shoulder that he had kept hidden from team officials for days.
To clear a roster spot, the Dodgers optioned reliever Josh Lindblom to Double-A Chattanooga, where the former second-round draft pick was pitching before he was recalled for the first time on May 29 to take Jansen's roster spot.
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Meanwhile, embattled closer Jonathan Broxton is getting closer to returning from the DL, where he has been since May 6 because of a bone bruise in his right elbow. Broxton is scheduled to begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday against Iowa and is scheduled to make a second appearance for the Isotopes on Wednesday against Oklahoma City, after which he will be re-evaluated.
If it's determined Broxton's rehab should continue, as opposed to him being activated, it probably will be moved to advanced Single-A Rancho Cucamonga because of its geographic proximity. The California League is on its All-Star break early next week, which is why Broxton is being sent to Albuquerque to start the rehab.
"Right now, it's Monday and Wednesday for sure and we'll go from there," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Jansen, who converted from catching to pitching only two years ago, had a 6.43 ERA in 20 appearances for the Dodgers this season before going onto the DL, but he had 35 strikeouts in 21 innings. His inflated ERA is mostly the result of him having pitched poorly in his final two starts before being shelved, giving up a total of four runs in 1 2/3 innings, before revealing that he was feeling discomfort in his shoulder.
Jansen made five appearances for Chattanooga on a rehabilitation assignment, giving up no runs and no hits and striking out seven in the final four of those.
Lindblom pitched well during his three-week stint in the majors, allowing two runs on eight hits over 10 2/3 innings. He became the odd-man out when Jansen returned largely because he pitched 1 2/3 innings Friday night against the Astros and thus was unavailable Saturday. With the Dodgers expected to activate reliever Hong-Chih Kuo from the DL before Sunday's game, Ramon Troncoso probably is the pitcher most likely to be sent out to make room for him.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Lindblom is being sent all the way back to Double-A largely because he has benefited from the tutelage of Chattanooga pitching coach Chuck Crim and because club officials didn't necessarily want Lindblom pitching in the high-altitude, hitter-friendly ballparks in Albuquerque and around the Pacific Coast League.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.