The Indians announced Saturday that Wood will miss 6-8 weeks with a shoulder injury. Technically speaking, it's a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle. Call it what you will, bottom line, Kerry Wood is broken again.
With that, Chris Perez(notes) steps into the closer chair. He impressed the Indians with his stuff down the stretch last year (mid-90s fastball, tight slider), striking out better than a batter per inning and limiting the American League to a .205 average. Perez also got a chance to close with the Cardinals late in 2008, converting 7-of-9 chances in the final two months (let's not tax him for the misleading set-up blown saves he had earlier that season). He needs to keep the ball in the park a little better (that explains his less-than-ideal ERA), but he's got the profile to handle the ninth inning. Perez hasn't been scored upon in five appearances this spring.
If you're looking to hedge past Chris Perez, note that Rafael Perez(notes) has thrown the ball well this spring and he was a monster back in 2007 (and passable in 2008, before crashing last year). But he's also left-handed and the team isn't going to look to the lefty Perez unless the righty Perez can't get it done.
We could say more, but these moments are about point-add-click. It's time to acquire Chris Perez, then meet back in the comments.
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- Chris Perez
- Kerry Wood