Back in Spring Training 2000, when Bartolo Colon showed up as bloated as a Kennedy after St. Patrick’s Day, he ended up on the 15-day DL with a strained oblique two weeks after Opening Day. My friends at the downtown YMCA and I started referring to our obliques as our “Bartolo Colons,” e.g., “Don’t forget to stretch your Bartolo Colon’s before the Abs class.” Indians closer Chris Perez, aka the Godfather of the Bullpen Mafia, has strained his Bartolo Colon. Fortunately he did this within the first days of Spring Training. While it’s questionable whether he’ll be healed in time for Opening Day, it’s still better to strain something at the start of Spring Training rather than at the end. Perez claims to be in good shape. While I’m not privy to his medical reports, empirical evidence suggests that he has more hair than excessive body fat. I’m not too worried.

The bullpen is one area where the Tribe has a lot of depth. We still have Vinnie Pestano, Tony Sipp, Joe Smith, and Rafael Perez. Frank Herrmann and Nick Hagadone are also on the 40-man roster, plus we have a number of non-roster invitees like Dan Wheeler, Chris Ray, Robinson Tejeda and Hector Ambriz. If C. Perez is not up and running by Opening Day, I’d rather see Hagadone than Herrmann in the bullpen. I’d prefer Hagadone to get the nod over Herrmann. Hagadone only pitched 11 innings for the Indians last year, with a 4.09 ERA and a .909 WHIP. He pitched 71 innings in AA/AAA during 2011 with a 2.79 ERA and a 1.099 WHIP. Herrmann, on the other hand, pitched 56.1 innings in 2011 with a 5.11 ERA and a 1.544 WHIP. It always felt like the Indians threw Herrmann in when they didn’t really care if they won or not.

Here’s hoping no other players feel the strain…


  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    It makes me nostalgic for the annual CC Sabathia ab strain.

  • Will McIlroy says:

    “Stuff” happens but Perez has to be smarter than this. His “I always go 100 per cent” excuse is just that, an excuse for lack of thought and preparation. Remember the trouble Choo had last year trying to come back from a ‘strain’. This injury could linger and impact the team for much of the season.

    The Tribe is snake bit enough (see Sizemore). Fortunately we have bullpen depth but there is no reason for our closer to tempt fate. Oh, the humanity!

    Who is the next domino to fall?

  • JOEYBIZ says:

    these minor injurys r giving us time…. to give the guys without options left…a cup of coffee in the see what we have…also some of those pen guys we signed have deals that if their not on the opening day roster than we have to release them…maybe just maybe…its part of the plan…sometimes we have to look deeper…to find out whats really going on! i could be wrong…but just sayin!

  • Steve says:

    When is Soloff gonna get canned??? These are all stretching and flexibility related injuries. Clearly there is a massive failure on the part of the trainers to prepare these guys.

  • jigboy says:

    When one door closes another one opens…cliche, yes, but it offers an opportunity to one of our new guys and see if they have what it takes. Was Perez a good closer? Debatable. He got the job done but he was more Joe Borowksi than Mariano Rivera. Only thing i’m sweating are the changing roles that could occur. Players perform more consistently when they have a defined role. Here’s to better stretching routines.

  • rick says:

    The bullpen was never the same after they gave themselves the nickname “bullpen mafia”. Players/teams should never give themselves a nickname.

  • Swift says:

    I have the same thought Steve had – how much of all these injuries are the fault of the trainers and the coaches? Yeah, young guys do stupid things, but I thought the trainers and coaches are supposed to prevent that.

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