By Bryan Jeon
The Texas Rangers placed closer Eric Gagne on the disabled list to begin the season to give him more time to get some work in before the regular season. Gagne, who is coming off of elbow and back surgeries, has pitched only 15 1-3 innings in the last two seasons combined. The 2003 NL Cy Young Award winner will make way for Akinori Otsuka to relieve him of the closing duties until he returns, as Otsuka converted 32 of 36 saves last season with a solid 2.11 ERA and 1.07 WHIP.
The move will be retroactive to Wednesday, making it possible that Gagne could rejoin the Rangers on April 13 for the series opener against the Seattle Mariners. In spring training thus far, Gagne has a 15.00 ERA (five earned runs in three innings) with six strikeouts and six walks.
Fantasy Advice: Despite Otsuka’s role as a setup man, he is a valuable handcuff to Gagne this year with Gagne’s questionable durability and most definitely deserves to be drafted in the later rounds. Make sure to drop Gagne a few spots, as he has not shown any consistency in regards to his health.
Image courtesy of AP Photo.