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Closer Huston Street of Rockies Likely Headed to DL: Who Will Replace Him?

DENVER - APRIL 26:  Huston Street #16 of the Colorado Rockies pitches in relief against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on April 26, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. Marquis earned the win as the Rockies defeated the Dodgers 10-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Nick KappelAnalyst IIIMarch 17, 2010

According to The Denver Post, the Rockies have shut down closer Huston Street after he experienced tightness in his shoulder on Tuesday.

An MRI is scheduled for Wednesday, and the results are expected later in the day.

While it’s too early to know the extent of this injury, Street—who posted a 3.06 ERA and 0.91 WHIP while saving 35 games last season—is likely to begin the season on the DL.  

If your team is lacking in the saves category, you might want to make a move. While it’s uncertain who will fill in as Colorado’s closer in Street’s absence, there are three likely candidates to choose from.

Rafael Betancourt was perhaps the Rockies’ best reliever down the stretch last season. After being traded to Colorado from Cleveland in mid July, the 34-year-old recorded 12 holds, a 1.78 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP, and a 29:5 K:BB ratio in 25.1 innings. Despite this, Betancourt has never been a full-time closer, totaling just 18 saves in seven full seasons.

Shoulder inflammation has hindered Betancourt this spring, diminishing his chances to be the Rockies’ Opening Day closer.

Manuel Corpas saved 19 games and posted a sparkling 2.08 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 2007 for the Rockies. The last two seasons haven’t been as kind to Corpas, as the 27-year-old has compiled a 4.92 ERA since 2008, relinquishing his closer job to Street.

Corpas was shut down last July with elbow issues, and his spot on the Opening Day roster is not guaranteed. Because of this, Corpas is not the most likely candidate to close for Colorado on Opening Day.

Franklin Morales proved himself capable at times last season, posting seven saves in September. After compiling a 3.26 ERA through the calendar’s ninth month, Morales allowed six earned runs in 1.1 October innings, skyrocketing his season-ending ERA to 4.50. While there is some risk involved, a late-inning relief job appears to be the 24-year-old’s niche.

Morales is the healthiest of the Colorado closing candidates and therefore has the best chance to rack up saves early in the season. If you’re lacking in the saves category and have a roster spot to spare, Morales is your man.



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