Closing Thoughts: We shall now praise Arthur Rhodes

OK, I realize this post probably needs a better hook. In all likelihood, no one is actively scouring the Web for information on 40-year-old Arthur Rhodes(notes).

But it's worth taking note of the left-hander's ridiculous streak of scoreless appearances, now at 33 and counting. Rhodes has not allowed a run, earned or unearned, since April 10. His 0.28 ERA is the lowest in baseball among pitchers who've thrown at least 30 innings — or 20 innings, or even 15.

The season he's having is absolutely insane. This dude had Tommy John surgery at age 37, and most of us assumed his career was over. Instead, Rhodes is better than ever. Sure, some of it's luck — perhaps you've noticed the .189 BABIP and the 21.9 LD% — but the man is entitled to a little good fortune. This is his 19th major league season.

Rhodes won't discuss his streak with anyone, and it really hasn't captured the public's imagination. Just know that it's out there, quietly continuing, two-thirds of an inning at a time. Please support his all-star candidacy in any way you can.

And please enjoy a leaner, less-cluttered (arguably less useful) version of the closing grid, along with the usual bullets…

Update: Naturally, Rhodes allowed three runs on Tuesday night, ending the streak. No need to thank me. It's what I do. Drew Stubbs(notes) gets an assist on the jinx.

Huston Street(notes) worked the final frame for Colorado in Monday's win, but the Rox scored a pair of runs in the top-half of the inning, depriving Street of a save opportunity. It's safe to assume that he has the closing gig. Manuel Corpas(notes) has been a mess over the past two weeks, allowing 12 hits, 12 runs (11 earned) and four walks in his last six appearances.

Billy Wagner(notes) hasn't pitched since recording his 400th career save on Friday, because he's been troubled by a left ankle injury. He received a cortisone shot and the Braves have reportedly "doctored [his] shoes," so we don't believe this will be a DL event.

The Michael Gonzalez(notes) parade of runs made an appearance at Single-A Aberdeen on Sunday, as the O's lefty gave up two hits and two runs in an inning of rehab work. Hardly a good sign, unless you currently own Alfredo Simon(notes). There's reportedly a chance that Gonzalez will be activated from the DL in time for Baltimore's upcoming road trip, but no reasonable owner would start him at Boston, Detroit or Texas.

We've discussed the Heilman/Demel/Qualls situation enough at this point, haven't we? If you need details, click here, here or here. I've taken a pass on Aaron Heilman(notes) in all leagues, despite many ownership opportunities.

Trevor Hoffman(notes) hasn't allowed a hit in his last four innings, and he hasn't given up a run since June 1. Despite the terrific numbers, John Axford(notes) clearly doesn't have much job security. (Fantastic mustache, yes. Job security, no). The Brewers are currently 8.5 games back in their division, and they would no doubt love to get the Hoff's $8 million deal off the books. Make 'em an offer.

David Aardsma(notes) left the Mariners over the weekend, returning home for the birth of his son, Aarnie. (No, that's a lie. The boy's name is "David Jr." Congrats to the Aardsmas). During the closer's absence from the team, we learned that Brandon League(notes) is, in fact, the handcuff. He got the save on Saturday, pitching a perfect inning against Milwaukee.

I'm not going to link to the clip of Joel Zumaya's(notes) elbow injury, because it's that awful. I really wish that I could un-see it. Zumaya's season will end, leaving the Tigers with a desperate need for bullpen help. If there's any hint of good news there, it's that he reportedly didn't tear ligaments. Ryan Perry(notes) (shoulder) is still rehabbing at Triple-A; Daniel Schlereth(notes) has struggled with his command (26 BB in 34 IP), but you can't argue with the K-rate (11.6 K/9). Jose Valverde(notes) has now pitched on consecutive days, delivering a five-out save on Monday, so he'll need a night off.

Jonathan Broxton(notes) threw 67 pitches over the weekend, making two appearances in non-save situations against his manager's former team. (Ahem). As a result of the heavy workload, he wasn't available to close the door against the Giants on Monday, so Hong-Chih Kuo(notes) got the rogue save. Broxton should return to action on Wednesday.

A quick note on the spreadsheet: We're transitioning — at least temporarily — to a format that's less of a maintenance nightmare. The pitchers listed in the "Plan B" column aren't necessarily threatening to take anyone's job. If a name appears there, it's because he's an understudy of interest. You can certainly make a case that Darren Oliver(notes), Takashi Saito(notes), Bobby Parnell(notes), Evan Meek(notes), JJ Putz(notes), Brad Ziegler(notes), Sergio Romo(notes), Luke Gregerson(notes) and Tyler Clippard(notes) deserve a column of their own. We always welcome your thoughtful suggestions.


Photo via AP Images

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