The Associated Press reports Tampa Bay Rays closer Troy Percival (hamstring) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, May 29, with a strained left hamstring.
Percival has been very solid so far this season. He has gone 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA, a 0.66 WHIP, 14 saves and only two blown saves. His 14 saves have him tied for fourth in the major leagues in that category. He has struck out 21 batters and walked only four batters in 21 1/3 innings. Opponents are only batting .133 against Percival this season. One negative with Percival is that three of the 10 hits he has allowed have gone over the fence.
Percival spent the majority of last season as a setup man. He went 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. He struck out 36 batters and walked 10 batters in 40 innings pitched.
From a fantasy perspective, the 38-year-old Percival is one of the more reliable closers in the league and is playing for one of the better teams in the league. Owners should place Percival on their disabled list if they have the space to do so. If there is no space there, owners should stash him on the bench until he is able to return. The injury is not considered to be serious since the MRI on his hamstring was negative, so owners should be looking for a short-term fix.
Relief pitcher Dan Wheeler likely will receive the first opportunity to close the games. He currently has a 0-3 record with a 2.19 ERA, a 0.89 WHIP and one save. He has 26 career saves in 40 opportunities and converted 11 of 15 opportunities for the Houston Astros last season before being traded to the Rays.
Another pitcher who may see a few opportunities to close games is relief pitcher Al Reyes. He has struggled some during the season, going 1-2 with 4.35 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP while also spending some time on the DL earlier in the season with a shoulder impingement. He has struck out eight and walked four in 10 1/3 innings. He was fairly successful as the team's closer last season, going 2-4 with a 4.90 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 26 saves. He has 32 saves in his career.
Both of these pitchers would be useful pickups in AL-only leagues, and Wheeler is worth consideration in deeper setups because of his effective ratios this season.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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