Perez expected to be out of game action for 3-4 weeks
Indians closer Chris Perez has been shelved with a subscapularis strain in his right shoulder and will not throw for the next seven to ten days. He will begin a return to throwing program as soon as he is asymptomatic, and is expected to be out of game action for at least three to four weeks.
The injury occurred in Perez’s last outing on February 26th and for the past few days the Indians training staff had been evaluating him before coming up with his prognosis today. Due to the injury he will no longer be able to fulfill his commitment to pitch for the United States in the World Baseball Classic which gets under way tonight when Australia squares off with Chinese Taipei at 11:30 PM EST.
Perez shared the following in a tweet on Twitter today in response to the injury: “"This to shall pass". . .Small hurdle at an in-opportune time. I feel better now than I did last year with the oblique. Still plenty of time."
This is the second year in a row that Perez has come down with an injury in spring training as last season he injured his oblique early in camp, but was able to make it back so he could open the season in time. Oblique injuries can linger and be more of a nuisance than they are serious, but anytime you are dealing with a shoulder injury there is certainly more concern.
Closing duties are not important in spring training, but if the injury lingers and Perez has to open the season on the disabled list, then Vinnie Pestano would take over closing duties. An open spot in the bullpen could also open the door for the likes of Matt Capps, Rich Hill, David Huff, Cody Allen, Scott Barnes, and Nick Hagadone to make the opening day roster.
In other injury news, the Indians announced that right-hander Frank Herrmann has a right elbow ligament sprain that he suffered in his last outing of Feb 25th. The Indians and Herrmann are still in the process of gathering information for the most appropriate course of action, and in the meantime he has been shut down from all activities. Total speculation here, but having seen this so many times in the past, he is probably getting (or has had) an MRI on the elbow and getting a second opinion on it to determine if any surgery is needed or if rehab could fix the problem.
Also, outfielder Michael Brantley has resumed lower body strength and conditioning and cardiovascular training. He will commence gripping activities this weekend in preparation for returning to limited baseball activities early next week. Right-handed pitcher Joe Smith threw a sim-game yesterday and is scheduled to pitch live BP tomorrow.
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Assuming Pestano, Smith, and Albers have three spots and Perez is on the DL to start the season.....it really leaves things wide open for the final four spots. I would think two of Hagadone, Barnes, Huff and Hill make it. And then two of Capps, Allen, Shaw, make it.