April 14, 2010
Mike Gonzalez, Baltimore's theoretical closer, has been placed on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder. The move is retroactive to April 10. Gonzalez was off to a miserable start (0-2, 18.00 ERA) and his velocity was down, so it's not really a surprise to see him headed to the DL.
Jim Johnson(notes) is currently Gonzalez's understudy, so he's the first guy to target if you're chasing saves. No one in the Baltimore bullpen has covered themselves in glory this year, however. Johnson has allowed runs in two of his four appearances, as has Cla Meredith(notes). Koji Uehara(notes) could find himself in the mix for saves when he returns from the DL.
Kam Mickolio(notes) is expected to be called up to take Gonzalez's roster spot, and you'll want to keep him on the radar. (Not that you'd need radar to track him. He's huge: 6-foot-9, 255). Mickolio is considered a possible closer in waiting, but strike-throwing has been an issue. In three innings at Triple-A so far this season, he's walked four batters, allowed four hits and struck out five. Mickolio arrived in Baltimore in the Erik Bedard(notes) deal, just like every other interesting young Oriole.
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