Athletics.MLB.com reports Oakland Athletics closer Huston Street (elbow) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list because of irritation in his right ulnar nerve. This move is retroactive to May 13.
There is no set timetable for Street's return, but San Francisco Chronicle reporter Susan Slusser reports Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson has a similar injury to his ulnar nerve, and he was expected to miss two-plus months because of the injury.
Street is a very promising closer for fantasy owners, as he saved 37 games
last season and was named the American League Rookie of the Year in 2005. However,
Street is also an inconsistent fantasy player; last season he accumulated 11
blown saves and made a trip to the disabled list with groin problems. He also
missed time in April due to a chest injury but remained on the 25-man roster.
This most recent trip to the disabled list does nothing to help Street's value.
If Street continues to be plagued by nagging injuries, he may be tagged as an
injury-prone player. He has posted respectable numbers so far this season, earning
all nine of the Athletics' saves, and he currently has an ERA of 2.50. Street
has allowed only two runs in his last 13 appearances. He has the capability
to build on that previous momentum once he rejoins the team, so now is not a
good time to trade him, while his value is low.
With Street headed to the DL and Athletics relief
pitcher Justin Duchscherer (hip) battling an
arthritic hip, reliever Kiko Calero appears likely
to get the bulk of save opportunities in the near future. So far this season,
Calero has an ERA of 5.51 and a WHIP of 1.16; he cannot be expected to produce
consistently. If Street misses extensive time, it could devolve into a closer-by-committee
situation. Duchscherer has filled the role during previous stints when Street
has missed time. Relief pitcher Alan Embree also
might be given an opportunity to pitch in late-inning situations.
Fantasy owners looking for a replacement will find the waiver wire barren of
quality closers. Street's replacement, Calero, should be available if one acts
quickly. Another option might be Toronto Blue Jays
reliever Jeremy Accardo, who appears to be becoming
the team's full-time closer now that closer B.J.
Ryan (shoulder) has been lost for the season. At this point in the season,
though, Accardo has a slim chance of being available. A deeper option could
be Washington Nationals reliever Jon
Rauch, who served as closer while Chad Cordero
was on the bereavement list. Cordero has returned, but the club hasn't reinserted
him as the closer yet. Rauch could be worth the shot, at least in the short
About Andrew Stewart
Andrew Stewart has been a Hot off the Wire Analyst for KFFL since 2007.
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