Dodgers Briefing: Kenley Jansen returns as Chico makes a cameo

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Dodgers

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 03: Kenley Jansen #74 of the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Catching you up on the latest news about the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Hey, Dodger Fans!

Opening Day is only 10 days away. Let’s get you caught up on the latest news.

1. Kenley Jansen is back with the Dodgers after recovering from Covid-19.

After missing the first week of summer camp for undisclosed reasons, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has arrived and revealed that his absence was due to testing positive for Covid-19.

“It is real,” Jansen said via Zoom press conference on Sunday. “Everyone in the world, take [the novel coronavirus] serious. Wear your mask at all times, if you can. Because, trust me, it happens so fast. Once my son got it, I’ve seen how fast it can spread. We tried to do everything, but we all got it in the house.”

Diagnosis: Jansen revealed to the media on Sunday that he believes he acquired the virus from his 4-year-old son, Kaden, who had been running a fever as the first sign of symptoms. After initially testing negative, a follow-up exam returned a positive result. The virus quickly spread throughout Jansen’s family.

Recovery time: The veteran closer tested positive nearly three weeks ago. After recovering from the virus, he will now require time to get into major league shape. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated he will give Jansen four appearances before the season starts. The Dodgers have been playing nightly intra-squad games, and they also have three exhibition games ahead of their season opener on July 23 against the San Francisco Giants. Jansen expects to be ready by Opening Day.

What if he isn’t ready: The Dodgers have several suitable options to fill in for Jansen should he need some extra time to stretch out his arm. We explored those options in detail last week, but any of Blake Treinen, Joe Kelly, or even Dustin May could be considered.

Still no Pedro Baez: Of course, another option Roberts could call on in the back of the pen would be Pedro Baez, but the veteran reliever is still missing from camp. There has been no update on his condition.

2. Dodgers clubhouse attendant “Chico” gets second life

Dave Roberts told reporters on Sunday that clubhouse attendant Francisco Herrera, aka Chico, had seen his final days playing for the Dodgers; but just as quickly as he has risen to fame on social media, he returned.

Chico returns: With Anthony Garcia sent to minor league camp, the Dodgers needed an extra body in the outfield, so Chico was back making spectacular plays (he had a really nice running catch in Sunday night’s game). Perhaps support from starting pitcher Ross Stripling helped him get back on the lineup card.

Who is Chico: In case you don’t know his story, Francisco Herrera has been working as a clubhouse attendant in the Dodger organization since 2008. He’s a local product, having played baseball at Hollywood High. You can learn more about him from the Los Angeles Times’ recent feature story.

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