A 'pen plan for contenders
Why the Giants and A's should rotate relief duties down the stretch
Injuries and ineffectiveness have led to a lot of recent bullpen shuffling for the two contending teams from the Bay Area. In the end, it may be the best thing to happen to those teams as they compete for a spot in the postseason.
The San Francisco Giants lost their closer, Brian Wilson, less than a week into the season. Wilson battled elbow soreness for much of 2011 and after just two outings in 2012, an MRI revealed the need for a second Tommy John surgery. Manager Bruce Bochy deployed RHP Santiago Casilla in save situations, and that worked well for the Giants through mid-June. In his first 31 appearances, Casilla pitched 28.1 innings, recorded 25 strikeouts and eight walks, and allowed only six runs. By June 22, he had 20 saves and a 1.59 ERA.
And then it all fell apart. Including an appearance on June 23 in which he allowed a single, a double and a walk and recorded no outs, Casilla has pitched 13 innings, recorded 19 strikeouts and eight walks and allowed 12 runs since. He's been bothered by a blister on his throwing hand, but the blister is not entirely to blame for his ineffectiveness.
To read the full story, plus get access to all of ESPN Insider's daily MLB content, sign up today.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- GM: Cabrera on target for spring training
- Rockies' Gonzalez takes swings, feels good
- 'True New Yorkers' excite Mets' Granderson
- Oft-injured Prior retires, eyes front-office job
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
MLB on ESPN.com
- The Highland Mint Oakland Athletics Signature Field Photograph