Bart Hubbuch, of The New York Post, reports the New York Mets have placed closer Billy Wagner (forearm) on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. It is the first time he has been placed on the disabled list since July 2004.
The team recalled righty Ruddy Lugo from Triple-A New Orleans to fill Wagner's roster spot.
Wagner is 0-1 with 27 saves, a 2.30 ERA, a 0.89 WHIP and 52 K's in 45 appearances.
With Wagner out, the Mets likely will use a closer-by-committee approach with several players to choose from. Manager Jerry Manuel has dubbed relief pitcher Aaron Heilman, who is 1-6 with a 5.25 ERA, to see the first save chances. Relief pitcher Eddie Kunz, who notched 27 saves with Double-A Binghamton before his weekend call-up and has been called the club's closer of the future, is another.
Relief pitcher Duaner Sanchez could also be used in save situations while Wagner is out. Sanchez is 5-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 48 appearances, and he has eight career saves.
Heilman is the top option to pick up, but don't expect much help given the committee setup and Heilman's issues in '08. Still, save-hungry owners should grab him but also should be ready to cut bait if he struggles.
The 22-year-old Kunz is a valuable target in keeper leagues and could be scooped up if available now that he's in the majors. Both Kunz and Sanchez could be adds in NL-only leagues if owners miss out on Heilman.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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