Farnsworth, Andrew Bailey injury reaction 

April, 4, 2012
4/04/12
3:31
PM ET
Just like that, two American League East teams have lost their closers to injury.

I blogged about the unfortunate (but hardly unexpected) injury situation with Boston Red Sox right-hander Andrew Bailey on Tuesday; now comes the news that Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Kyle Farnsworth is likely to start the season on the shelf.

[+] EnlargeKyle Farnsworth
Kim Klement/US PresswireKyle Farnsworth (sore elbow) is out indefinitely.
Last season, Farnsworth, then a well-traveled veteran of 12 years and 27 career saves, was terrific. He saved 25 games with a 2.18 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP, and finished 13th among closers on the Player Rater. I don't think it was a fluke, either. That said, I don't think manager Joe Maddon is crying about losing him. For years Maddon has managed to coax inspiring performances from surprising pitchers, realizing that relief pitchers are eminently replaceable and rarely consistent. Things change all the time. In fact, in 2006, Maddon's top save option had just 10 saves (Tyler Walker). In 2007, veteran Al Reyes saved 26 games, and was barely heard from again. Even when the team became good in 2008, and for years since, look at its primary closers: an old, bad Troy Percival, with help from Dan Wheeler (2008), lefty J.P. Howell and a committee (2009), one brilliant season from Rafael Soriano (2010), who the Rays had no intention of keeping, and then Farnsworth last year.

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