Lindstrom injury creates closer vacancy
The Marlins just put Matt Lindstrom
on the 15-day DL because of right elbow inflammation, creating an opening in
the back of their bullpen.
Who takes over as Florida’s closer
in Lindstrom’s absence? Normally, Kiko Calero would be best suited to take his
place, having established himself as the club’s top setup man, but he also landed
on the DL recently. How about Leo Nunez? That would make sense, except for the
fact that Nunez left Tuesday night’s outing because of a sprained ankle and is
questionable for Wednesday. A speedy recovery would give him the leg up, but
nothing suggests he’s anything close to a sure thing.
Still, with no clear favorite, consider
taking a flier on Dan Meyer, who boasts a 2.10 ERA and a 29/7 K/BB ratio in 30
innings this season. Sure, he’s a lefty who up until this season was known
mostly as the disappointing starter Oakland got in the Tim Hudson deal, but
transitioning to the bullpen has revived his career: Meyer has actually fared
better against righty hitters (.155 AVG) than lefty hitters (.199 AVG) this
season, and while he may be accustomed to longer middle-relief outings, the
Marlins have few alternatives if Nunez can’t hack it. The bottom line is that
Meyer has excelled under the radar this year, and that matters when saves are
up for grabs this way. Good pitching has a way of busting through the door, regardless
of team politics.
Other potential options include
Renyel Pinto and Brian Sanches.