Braves News: Kenley Jansen to IL, A.J. Minter’s Chance to Close

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ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 26: Kenley Jansen #74 of the Atlanta Braves pitches during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Truist Park on June 26, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 26: Kenley Jansen #74 of the Atlanta Braves pitches during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Truist Park on June 26, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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The Atlanta Braves announced on Tuesday that Kenley Jansen is being placed on the 15-day IL. That opens the door for A.J. Minter to get a look at closer. 

Kenley Jansen has dealt with heart issues for a while now and it appears it’s an issue that continues as the Atlanta Braves closer has been placed on the IL with an irregular heartbeat.

First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out to Kenley as obviously any issue with the heart should be taken very seriously. We pray he’s OK and get back to feeling healthy very soon — not for the sake of the Braves, but his own.

But Kenley’s absence does leave an opening for the closer’s role in Atlanta.

Braves News: Audition for Minter in Closer’s Role

When the Braves originally signed Jansen it was Will Smith who got bumped from that role, so you’d think he would get a shot to save some games.

This may also be a great opportunity to give A.J. Minter a look in the closer’s role as he very well could be the closer of the future in Atlanta, and he’s been the best reliever on the team all season.

In 34 games this year, Minter has an ERA of 1.69 and a WHIP of 0.81 in 32 innings with 43 strikeouts.

He had a run of 23 straight games without allowing an earned run, but he’s actually allowed a run in three of his last five outings.

Minter has 20 saves in his career, so he’s not completely unfamiliar with the role. But he hasn’t picked up a save since 2019.

The only thing that has every really held Minter back from being an elite reliever and closer are the walks.

Throughout most of his career he’s had a BB/9 of over 3, but this season it’s under 2. Meanwhile, he has the highest K/9 of hist career at 12.1.

With that type of command and consistency, combined with his upper 90s fastball and devastating cutter, he may finally be turning into that dominating closer many believed he would be.

Next. Lee is Weapon Not Being Used Enough. dark

Again, we wish all the best to Kenley and hope he’s back healthy soon closing games for the Braves. But this does hopefully give us a glimpse of what could be with Minter going forward.

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