There have been several key injuries and staffing changes in bullpens throughout the league this week.  Several teams lost relievers to injures, both freak of nature and not.  Other teams have simply had enough with guys just not doing their jobs.  Here's a look at some of them just in time for the upcoming week, though in most tough leagues, these guys are long gone:

Yankees - The craziest injury I've seen in a long time happens to one of the consummate closers of our time.  Mo Rivera, even though he is part of the enemy empire, has been both solid and reliable almost two decades.  He went down shagging balls before the start of one of his games this week.  Diagnosis: torn ACL.  This could be the end of a better word, an empire.  Stepping in for him could be both David Robertson and Rafael Soriano.  Robertson has killer stuff, and as I've mentioned before will rack up both K's and now saves.  Soriano could get a chance as well, and he too could shine in the role.

Marlins - Heath Bell has been horrible this year.  He must really miss Petco Park.  He's blown 4 saves this month and sports an 11 ERA.  Look for a trial run for both Steve Cishek, a young righty from Falmouth, MA who sports a 2.09 ERA and 73 K's over 73 career innings.  Ed Mujica will also get a look, but he doesn't strike out enough guys and seems to be having some control issues.

Cubs - Carlos Marmol has given up 6 runs and 12 walks over 8.2 innings this season, so old friend Dale Sveum is putting the ixnay on him closing out games.  Look for lefty James Russel and righty Rafael Dolis to get the nod when the Cubbies seldom win.  Russel has 8 K's and just 1 ER allowed through 8.1 IP.  Dolis is a giant on the mound, but does not have the strike throwing pedigree teams look for in a closer.  Kerry Wood is not the answer here.  Move along from this situation.

White Sox - Matt Thornton is pitching decently enough, but he is just too hittable these days, and Hector Santiago has given up 4 homers in 7.1 IP so he's not working as a fireman.  That would normally grant Addison Reed his chance at the job, and with a 0.00 ERA and an 11/3 K/BB ratio he rightfully should.  However, newly anointed starter Chris Sale has reported elbow tenderness so the Sox think it is the best move to put him back into the bullpen and hand him the closer role.  Sale should do fine in the role, as long as his arm holds up

Leave a Reply.