Texas Rangers CL C.J. Wilson visits the DL

by Keith Hernandez on August 5, 2008 @ 19:49:06 PDT


Jeff Wilson, of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reports Texas Rangers closer C.J. Wilson (elbow) said he will be heading to the disabled list with a bone spur in his left elbow. He is scheduled to visit with Dr. Lewis Yocum to seek a second opinion and could miss the rest of the season.

Wilson pitched in a non-save situation Tuesday, Aug. 5, and surrendered a grand slam to New York Yankees first baseman Richie Sexson. Apparently he was in the game in order to iron out some mechanical issues but struggled, giving up a walk and a hit before giving up the grand slam. Wilson stated that he has not been effective of late because he has been trying to work through the pain in his left elbow.

Wilson's meltdown pushed his ERA to 6.02 this season. He has continued to struggle, blowing two saves and giving up 13 earned runs in 11 innings since July 1. His elbow injury hasn't helped his command problems. Wilson is 2-2 this season with four blown saves while striking out 41 and walking 26 in 46 1/3 innings pitched.

With Wilson heading to the disabled list, manager Ron Washington said he figures the closing duties will be handled by three possible relievers: Eddie Guardado, Jamey Wright and Frank Francisco. Washington stated that Guardado will receive the bulk of the save opportunities, with the other two mixing in to give him rest.

Guardado was the next in line to replace Wilson all season, and now he will get his chance. "Everyday Eddie" sports a 3.02 ERA this season with a 0.96 WHIP. He has 25 strikeouts and 13 walks in 44 2/3 innings pitched on the year. He recorded his third save of the season in three opportunities Aug. 5 against the Yankees.

Guardado has closing experience. With the Minnesota Twins he recorded a career-high 45 saves in 2002 and 41 the next year. He tallied 36 saves with the Seattle Mariners in 2005. In his career he has recorded 186 saves, so he definitely has the experience to step in as the Rangers' temporary stopper - or finish the season in the role.

Neither Wright nor Francisco have recorded a save in their big league careers, but both could be entering in the ninth inning with Wilson out. Wright has a 4.82 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP this season with five blown saves in 61 2/3 innings pitched. Francisco has a WHIP of 1.24 and an ERA of 3.28 with four blown saves in 46 2/3 innings pitched this season.

Fantasy owners of Wilson should be concerned since Wilson stated that he could miss the remainder of the 2008 season. However, his recent ineffectiveness might have had many owners already looking for a replacement. For now, stash him on your bench or DL spot until more is known regarding his elbow injury.

In the meantime, owners of Wilson should pick up Guardado off the waiver wire. He might have already been picked up by speculating owners given Wilson's persistent troubles this season. Don't hesitate to snatch him up.

Wright and Francisco could also receive some looks but will not be the first options for Washington. Their fantasy value remains minimal, but both could be considered in deep AL-only leagues. 

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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