Here is the latest 411 on injured closers.
David Aardsma, SEA
Not goods news for Aardsma. As I reported a few days ago, Aardsma suffered a major setback with a Grade 2 strain of the ulnar collateral ligament that may require Tommy John-like elbow surgery. He will see Dr. Lewis Yocum for a second opinion, but it’s not looking good. If this injury holds up, one of two things will happen:
1. Aardsma will rehab the injury and not be back for at least six weeks to two months. At that point, he will not close for the Mariners this season again, and possibly never close for them again, entering free agency.
2. Aardsma has surgery and is out for the season, and likely will dawn a different jersey for 2012.
Either way, it’s not good. Cut Aardsma.
Brad Lidge, PHI
Lidge is still recovering from a strained right posterior rotator cuff that has him on the 60-day DL. The news is rather lite for Lidge. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, he should begin throwing off the mound in a week or so. Lidge also remains confident that he will be back by the All-Star break. Of course, he told us he’d be back by mid-June as well. I am still of the belief that we won’t see Lidge return to the Phillies bullpen till around August 1.
Jose Contreras, PHI
According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Contreras threw his first bullpen session since going on the disabled list April 24. He threw 40 pitches and reported that everything felt fine. While he has been making progress, the Phillies are taking it slow with their aging reliever. It’s easy for them to do with the success of Ryan Madson. Contreras is eligible to come off the DL at anytime.
Brandon Lyon, HOU
Manager Brad Mills reported that Lyon will likely spend more than the allotted 15 days on the DL. Yeah, thanks for the update, Mills,. Lyon has been diagnosed with a right biceps tendinitis & rotator tear. I don’t care if you are the Wolverine with healing powers, it will take a lot of time for Lyon to recover. I estimate 5-6 weeks at best before he rejoins the Astros bullpen.
Jonathan Broxton, LAD
Let’s just state how important Broxton is to the Dodgers. Their bullpen is currently a mess. Their stud prospect Kenley Jansen is getting hammered, Hong-Chih Kuo was placed on the disabled list Wednesday because of an anxiety disorder. That leaves then with the 60 MPH hook of Vicente Padilla as their closer and Twins wash-away Matt Gourrier as the setup man. Right now, Broxton is resting his ailing elbow and will not throw a baseball for two to three weeks.
Andrew Bailey, OAK
Bailey threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday trying to recover from a forearm strain that's sidelined him since March. According to the Oakland Tribune, Bailey still reports feeling discomfort in the elbow area, and that has delayed his return. He plans to throw one more bullpen session before starting his rehab assignment. Keep your fingers crossed.
Evan Meek, PIT
The All-Star reliever threw 25 pitches during a bullpen session Wednesday, according to MLB.com’s Jennifer Langosch. He reported no problems, and plans to have one more bullpen session before starting a two-game rehab assignment. He should be pitching for the Pirates by next week. At this point, he will be a setup man and a save stealer. Joel Hanrahan is doing an outstanding job as closer, and Meek will not threaten that job.