That didn’t take long.
Spring training has barely begun, but Cleveland is already getting hammered by injuries. Grady Sizemore is sidelined because of a lower back strain. On Sunday, word came down from Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer that closer Chris Perez would be sidelined because of a strained left oblique muscle. The Indians remain optimistic that Perez will be available for opening day, but Manny Acta tabbed Vinnie Pestano as Perez’s replacement should he be unable to start the season.
Pestano certainly has the goods to be a closer, having posted a fantastic strikeout rate of 12.2 per nine innings pitched (84 in 62 innings) with a superb WHIP of 1.05. He knows how to finish an inning and keeps opponents from making solid contact. Pestano allowed just 5.95 hits per nine innings pitched.
There are other former closers (Wheeler, Ray and Accardo) in camp, but the job is Pestano’s while we await word on Perez’s progress.
Read Hoynes’ story here .