ESPN reports that closer and future hall of famer Billy Wagner will be lost for the rest of the 08-09 season, as well as most of the 09-10 season.
Wagner has had a solid season, with 2.30 ERA and 27 saves in 34 chances. Many of his blown saves came near the point at which he began feeling discomfort in his left (his throwing) elbow.
By discomfort, Wagner apparently meant a severely damaged MCL ligament--not good if you are a pitcher, and definitely not good if you throw upwards of 95 MPH. Wagner will undergo surgery.
Although the Mets have had recent success with the newly found Luis Ayala, the loss of Wagner will surely magnify the terrible season Ayala had had with the Nationals, where he sported a shiny 5.78 ERA (he has brought it down to 5.32 with the Mets).
Even if Ayala continues his solid pitching streak as the Mets newest closer, the loss of Wagner will regardless be painful, as the Mets' bullpen has been at best inconsistent all season.
Wagner's surgery burgeons other questions, most notably the topic of retirement. Will Wagner stay in the game as a fastball closer?
Wagner turns 38 next July.