First the Twins star closer, Joe Nathan succumbed to Tommy John surgery and will miss all of 2010. Then newly signed middle reliever Clay Condrey went down with a sore shoulder.
Now it appears that two more Twins relievers could be headed for the DL. First, Pat Neshek who is on the comeback trail as is, and who has been perfect so far this year, could be headed to the DL with a strained flexor tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand. Neshek reported the injury after pitching two innings of shut out baseball in relief of Kevin Slowey during the Twins Wednesday loss to the Red Sox.
Second, Jose Mijares could be headed to the DL with a, 'sore elbow.' Followers of this site know that I tend to equate, 'sore elbow,' with, 'will be having season ending Tommy John surgery.' While Mijares has been a train wreck so far this year (something the injury certainly may account for) he was an integral part of the Twins bullpen in 2009.
With Nathan lost for the season, the Twins were relying on Neshek, who for a year and a half was a dominant setup man, and Mijares, who pitched very well last year, to add much needed depth to the bullpen. While Neshek's injury should be relatively short-term, you worry about it affecting his breaking ball. Mijares' situation of course could be far worse and if so, it would serve as a second major blow to the Twins bullpen.
Thankfully to say, the Twins have a trio of solid arms to call upon in the meantime should they be needed. Alex Burnett was recently sent down for veteran Ron Mahay, who was called up after a brief minor league stint and Manager Ron Gardenhire had high praise for him as he left. Also available are Rob Delaney and Anthony Slama. Slama in particular had a very impressive spring training.