2012 a rough year on closers so far

By C. Trent Rosecrans | Blogger
Mariano Rivera

Perhaps the Mayans were predicting doom for closers in 2012 -- because that may be the only way to explain what's going on so far this season.

The greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera, may have seen his season and career come to an end on Thursday, but he's just the latest closer to see his season end prematurely. In addition to the closers that have seen their season end, there are several others still in injury limbo, others that are or have been on the shelf and then some who have just stunk.

So, let's look at the year of the doomed closers:

Joakim Soria• Joakim Soria, Royals. The two-time All-Star was shut down in spring training and had Tommy John surgery on May 8. It's his second Tommy John surgery. Veteran Jonathan Broxton is closing in his place.

• Ryan Madson, Reds. Bothered all spring by a sore elbow, Madson didn't appear in a Cactus League game with his new team and then underwent Tommy John surgery. Signed to a one-year deal, it's possible Madson will collect paychecks from Cincinnati, but never play for the Reds. Sean Marshall, who was acquired in an offseason trade, replaced Madson as the team's closer.

• Brian Wilson, Giants. Another two-time All-Star, Wilson actually appeared in two games and earned a save this season before getting his Tommy John diagnosis. Like Soria, Wilson will be undergoing Tommy John surgery for a second time.

• Mariano Rivera, Yankees. While it's assumed Rivera will miss the rest of the 2012 season with an ACL injury, he's still waiting on a second opinion and reportedly holding out hope that he can return this season.

Drew Storen• Drew Storen, Nationals. Storen had bone chips removed from his elbow in early April, but has yet to resume throwing. He is working out and could start throwing as soon as next week. Henry Rodriguez has five saves for the Nationals.

• Andrew Bailey, Red Sox. There's still no concrete answers as to when the Red Sox closer will return from thumb surgery. The best-case scenario is that he's ready sometime around the All-Star break. The worst-case scenario is that he's done for the year. Alfredo Aceves has five saves in place of Bailey, but he also has a 10.29 ERA.

• Kyle Farnsworth, Rays. Farnsworth was moved to the 60-day disabled list earlier this week, but he did start throwing exercises this week. The 36-year-old suffered a strain to his right elbow during spring training. Tampa Bay hasn't missed Farnsworth, as Fernando Rodney has nine saves and a 0.73 ERA.

• Sergio Santos, Blue Jays. The first-year Jays closer struggled before going on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder and expects to resume throwing this weekend. He hasn't pitched since April 21. Veteran Francisco Cordero has stepped in as the team's closer.

Jim Johnson, Orioles. Johnson spent four days in the hospital with food poisoning, but retuned pitching in non-save situations on Tuesday and Wednesday. He has yet to give up a run this season and has seven saves.

Heath BellHeath Bell, Marlins. Signed to a three-year, $27 million deal in the offseason, Bell has imploded early and often with his new team. He has as many losses (three) as saves and a 11.74 ERA. On Thursday, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen elected to send Edward Mujia out in the ninth to pick up the save against San Francisco.

Carlos Marmol, Cubs. Marmol's latest meltdown -- walking three and giving up a hit, but not recording an out -- in Thursday's loss in Cincinnati may have cost him his job as the Cubs' closer. Chicago manager Dale Sveum said he's considering switching closers. Marmol has 12 walks in 8 /23 innings this season.

Jordan Walden, Angels. An All-Star as a rookie in 2011, Walden lost his job to Scott Downs after struggling with his control. He did throw a scoreless inning on Thursday in the Angels' loss to the Blue Jays.
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