The Rays received some bad news Tuesday when they found out closer Kyle Farnsworth has been experiencing elbow soreness in his pitching arm. His status for Opening Day is uncertain as of now.
The Rays will be cautious with his injury– as they are with most injuries– and give him some time to rest before bringing him back. It’s a long season so it’s understandable why the rays wont rush him back.
If Farnsworth isn’t ready for Opening Day, the Rays have a few options, some with closing experience. Fernando Rodney has closed for the Tigers and Angels in the past but has been inconsistent. He’s also coming back from a bruise on his forearm after being hit by a line drive. He may not be ready to pitch yet.
J.P Howell closed for the Rays a couple of seasons ago and filled in nicely. Injuries have limited him the past two season and when pitching has been erratic and very ineffective.
Their best option in my mind is Joel Peralta. He doesn’t have closing experience (just 8 saves in his career, 6 during last season), but has been very effective of the last two seasons. Over his last 110 appearances with the Rays and Rockies, has a 2.55 ERA. The knock on him is how bad he has been in Spring Training, where he has a 5.87 ERA in 8 appearances.
If Farnsworth is out for a while, wait to see who the Rays insert into that role before you pick anyone up. Don’t be surprised if manager Joe Maddon uses the hot hand when going to his bullpen.