David O'Brien, of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reports the Atlanta Braves placed closer Rafael Soriano (elbow) on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, June 14, due to elbow tendonitis. The move is retroactive to June 6.
The team called up pitcher Charlie Morton from Triple-A Richmond to take Soriano's place on the roster.
This marks the second trip to the DL for Soriano this season. He missed 45 games earlier in the year after battling elbow tendonitis since spring training. Soriano only was able to appear in five games since being activated May 28, but he recorded two saves in that time. He told coaches last week that his elbow was still sore, and this past week he had to warm up before games to determine if he could pitch in live action.
The right-hander met with Dr. Lewis Yocum Friday, June 13. Yocum, who performed Soriano's 2004 Tommy John surgery, would not give treatment advice until he examined Soriano's MRI. Soriano is eligible to return Saturday, June 21, but that is not a certainty with the lingering pain in his elbow.
Soriano has been relatively effective in just nine innings of work this year, saving three of his four opportunities. He has a 2.00 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP while holding opposing hitters to a .129 batting average.
Fantasy owners should stash Soriano on a DL spot or on their bench.
The Braves likely will return to a closer-by-committee setup for the time being. Reliever Manny Acosta has been erratic with a 4.54 ERA but has three saves on the season. Pitcher Jeff Bennett recorded his second save of the season June 13. Relievers Blaine Boyer and Will Ohman, who each have a save this year, likely will be a part of that group, as well. All four are steady temporary pickups in NL-only leagues and desperation options in mixed formats.
The team hasn't indicated when southpaw Mike Gonzalez (elbow) will return from his rehab from Tommy John surgery, but that could happen within the next week. Gonzalez has a 2.25 ERA and six strikeouts in four innings with Richmond. He could be a long-term fill-in - or even take the job permanently - if he proves to be effective, so grab the former Pittsburgh Pirates closer if he's available.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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