Every time this 2012 Padres team appears to turn a corner or have some sort of positive “mojo” heading in their direction, the proverbial “rug” is pulled out from under them. The injury hits just kept on coming on Friday night when All-Star and recently extended Closer Huston Street hurt his left calf on the final out of the game in the Padres’ 9-8 win over the Pirates.
Street is the team leader in Saves, and according to Corey Brock of the Padres’ team website, Street had not allowed a run in 21.1 Innings pitched! Now on the 15-Day DL, Street will need to be replaced for the time being, and according to Brock it appears that the Padres will go with some sort of Closer combination of Dale Thayer and Luke Gregerson for the time being.
Thayer to his credit did a solid job in Street’s extended absence earlier in the season, and has had himself a career year in numerous statistical categories thus far in 2012. Overall, Thayer has set career highs in Appearances (41), Innings Pitched (40), Wins (2), Strikeouts (29), Saves (5), and posted a respectable 3.60 ERA. Gregerson, if called upon to finish the 9th will have to move from his usual 7th Inning and part time Setup roles. On the year, Gregerson is 2-0 with a 2.56 ERA, thrown 55.2 Innings, and Struck Out 55 batters.
If Thayer and Gregerson in fact have to assume the Closer duties for the next two weeks or longer, spots will be open for some of the younger members of the Friars’ bullpen to take full advantage. Bud Black appears to have confidence in the Rookies and young players, along with Alex Hinshaw to get the job done for however long Street is shelved. I also alluded to some of the up and coming players which San Diego has at their disposal in the bullpen last week, and I am sure that players like Brad Boxberger, Brad Brach, Cory Burns, Nick Vincent, and Miles Mikolas could receive some extra playing time over the next two weeks.
There are 46 regular season games left to go, and the Padres just need to find a way to finish the year on a positive note. My hope is that Thayer and Gregerson can fill in adequately for Street and log some extremely important Innings down the stretch. But most of all, I hope that San Diego can give its younger players some much needed big league experience to finish the season, and get them ready for an extended amount of work in 2013. For now though, let us just cross our fingers for Street’s speedy recovery, and hope that the rest of the ‘pen can pick up the slack.
Statistics Courtesy of: Baseball Reference