Friday, May 9, 2008

Neshek possibly out for season

Twins reliever Pat Neshek, who was injured while pitching yesterday, got some bad results from his MRI that was taken today. According to Le Velle E. Neal of the Star Tribune, Neshek was diagnosed with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament (the one that is generally replaced in Tommy John surgery). He reports that Neshek will not be allowed to throw for at least three months, placing the time line at August 8th before he can even throw again, let alone pitch. This indicates that Neshek most likely will not pitch again this season.

This injury leaves an obvious hole in our bullpen, as Neshek was our top setup man. There are many people that could take over this role-

Juan Rincon - This is one of the most possible choices, as Rincon has a lot of experience and once held this role for the Twins. On the other hand, he has a 4.91 ERA and has allowed a run in 3 of his last 6 appearances. Though he will not be as trustworthy as Neshek, Rincon may be the Twins best option

Jesse Crain - Crain has been even less solid than Rincon in terms of his overall numbers this season. However, barring his 3-run inning against Detroit on April 15th, Crain has pitched pretty well this year.

Bobby Korecky - The former Triple-A Rochester closer, Korecky has shown that he can pitch a solid inning repeatedly. He could be a good option to hold the game until the Twins can get to Nathan in the ninth. With his lack of experience, though, Gardy will most likely keep him in a middle relief role.

Whoever gets the job, what's clear is that they will not be as dominating as Neshek has been the past few years. I have a feeling there will be a lot more frustrating 8th innings in the coming months than one would hope, and there is a small tear in an elbow ligament to thank for that. Get better soon Pat.

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