Grant Balfour Takes Over as A’s Closer
Until further notice, lefty Brian Fuentes and righty Grant Balfour will reverse roles in the bullpen. Fuentes will shift to setup duties, while Balfour will be the team’s closer. The switch follows a rough stretch for Fuentes, who has been charged with the loss in each of his past four games. Balfour is tied for fourth among American League relievers in strikeouts (26) and has held opponents to a .192 batting average.
The Elias Sports Bureau reports that Fuentes is the first reliever to have seven losses before June 1 since Gene Garber also tallied that many in 1979 with Atlanta. Fuentes is 1-7 with a 5.06 ERA. Frankly, the guy sucks and couldn’t get you or I out. If you can believe it, Fuentes just signed a 2-year contract worth a guaranteed $10.5 million with a club option for a third year at $6.5 million. Could you imagine getting paid that much money to consistently screw up your companies’ business?
Jorge De La Rosa Done For the Year
Rockies southpaw Jorge De La Rosa suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow during the team’s 12-4 victory over the D-backs in the opener of Tuesday’s doubleheader at Coors Field. His season is over as he will need surgery. Tough injury for De La Rosa and the Rockies as he had been pitching well with a 3.34 ERA, a WHIP of 1.147 and 49 K’ in 56 2/3 innings. Some fans are taking this very hard, as one fan actually jumped from the stands! (see below)
Man Falls 20 Feet at Rockies Game
A 27-year-old man attending the first game of the Rockies-D-Backs doubleheader on Tuesday suffered critical injuries when he fell from a stairwell leading to center-field seating at Coors Field, the Associated Press reported, citing police sources. The AP, attributing Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson, reported that the man fell approximately 20 feet onto concrete during the seventh inning. Jackson told the AP he did not have the fan’s name and an investigation was taking place.
I know Ubaldo Jimenez is still without a win but he’s pitching better and actually through a complete game his last time out. Carlos Gonzalez has gotten off to a tough start, but he’s played better of late too. The injury to De La Rosa was apparently just too much for some to take as the guy decided to jump. The Colorado Rockies came into the doubleheader at 23-22 and split the doubleheader leaving them at 24-33, just one game back of the San Francisco Giants. There is still about two-thirds of the season to go and it’s way too early to panic. I’m surprised to see that Colorado fans are already jumping from the stands, especially with all the great late season comebacks they’ve had in recent years.
Rafael Soriano To See Dr. Andrews
Rafael Soriano, the Yankees’ big-ticket free agent signing last winter, took another dismal step toward being a disastrous signing. Soriano has been shut down from throwing and will see renowned sports orthopedist Dr. James Andrews after feeling soreness in his injured right elbow while throwing Monday. Soriano underwent his second MRI exam on the elbow yesterday, but the Yankees are waiting to disclose the results until Soriano sees Andrews. Soriano already has had surgery on the elbow twice, and he could be heading that way again.
Is there a lemon law for relief pitchers? The Yankees already blew $8 million on a two-year deal signing the injured Pedro Feliciano, now the $35 million set-up man may be lost as well. Wow, $43 million on two guys who aren’t going to play. Can you imagine if that happened to a small market team? That’s the entire team payroll for some MLB clubs!