The surprising Tampa Bay Rays took a hit yesterday as star closer Troy Percival was placed on the DL with a hamstring injury. The move was said to be precautionary, most likely due to Percival’s age (38).
Signed last November in hopes of bringing some leadership skills to a young, struggling franchise, Percival has more than delivered. He has 14 saves so far, which ties him for third in the AL and fourth overall. He spent the last two seasons in Detroit and St. Louis where he did not really fill the role of a closer. However, in the ten seasons before that, Percival racked up 316 saves, all with the Angels and now sits tenth among the closers of all time with 338 saves.
Percival’s replacement will probably be last year’s closer, Al Reyes. Reyes had 26 saves in 30 save opportunities last year, and currently has a 4.36 ERA over 10 1/3 innings pitched.