The Closer Report » Brad Lidge, Brian Wilson, Drew Storen, Frank Francisco, In-Season Analysis, Joel Peralta, Kyle Farnsworth, Weekly Injury Updates » The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. Weekly Injury Update: April 15, 2012
2012 has been a terrible year for MLB Closers. Before the season even started, we lost Joakim Soria and Ryan Madson. Then Drew Storen and Andrew Bailey were knocked out for a significant amount of time. Now, it looks as though Brian Wilson will be out for the year or at least quite awhile with structural damage in his elbow. That may sound like a horror movie in the making for fantasy baseball managers, but it gets worse. Let’s get out our first The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Weekly Injury Report. This report will consist of three sections: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. “The Good” are reports on closers that are only slightly hurt or on the mend. ”The Bad” will be updates on current injured players and their return. ”The Ugly” will be the latest injured closers to go down and updates on long-term (60-Day DL) injuries.
Frank Francisco, NYM – After having some knee issues during spring training, Francisco had his knee drained before the start of the season. The results have been flawless. 3 saves, 7 Ks, and 0.00 ERA. Expect him to be just fine.
Huston Street, SD – He is 100% healthy and has thrown 3 perfect innings with no problems.
Kyle Farnsworth, TB - Farnsworth was placed on the DL with a right elbow strain. He will likely be on the shelf for another 4 weeks, but expect longer. Farnsworth has a history of injury and last season’s health should be considered a fluke. Fernando Rodney has stepped into the role, but expect Joel Peralta to get some saves as well. At best, expect Farnsworth back by June. There is no guarantee that he will get the closer job back, but if Maddon plays his cards right, he’ll want Farnsworth back at closer. Feel free to trade him, but don’t trade him with the thought that he will not close again for the Rays.
Joe Nathan, TEX - While Nathan isn’t suffering from any injury related issues, there is still concern for his health. The Rangers are closely monitoring their 37-year old closer after each pitching appearance. This primarily because he is coming off of Tommy John surgery, but also is a concern because of his age. This should serve to alert Nathan owners that he will lose save chances to Mike Adams as they rest their veteran closer.
Brian Wilson, SF – Terrible news broke last night after Wilson recorded his first save of the season. After having an MRI, it was determined that there was structural damage in his right elbow. Regardless of the type of surgery he ends up requiring, he is done for 2012. Even if he makes some sort of remarkable comeback, it wouldn’t be until September and I wouldn’t touch him at that point. I expect the Giants to try to acquire a closer not later than June. If you own Wilson, I’d cut him as soon as he its the DL and surgery is announced.
Andrew Bailey, BOS - This story gets worse by the week. After having a good spring training and reporting that he is ready for baseball, Baily promptly hit the DL with a torn ligament in his right thumb. At first it was reported he’d be back before the All-Star break, but now we are looking at late August at best. If you don’t have the roster room, cut Bailey. The Red Sox will likely trade for another closer long before than. There are rumors that they are trying to make a deal fro Kevin Gregg with the Baltimore Orioles. Bailey will start a throwing program in about 8 weeks, so there is the only time-table we have right now.
Drew Storen, WAS - Last week, Storen had minor surgery to remove a bone chip from his pitching elbow. My sources have put his return at August 1. That could be a few weeks earlier or later depending on how quickly he recovers. This is a terrible loss for fantasy managers and baseball in general. Brad Lidge has been closing in the meantime with Henry Rodriguez backing him up. With the depth that the Nationals have in their bullpen, they will not rush Storen back to the bullpen or for the closer role. Feel free to cut Storen if you are in a league with tight rosters. Other than that, trade him.