Oh, this is bad news.
“We’re hoping to avoid opening up the shoulder,” Towers said. “But if he ended up having surgery, he could be out longer than two months . . . maybe most of the year. It just hasn’t gotten better.”
And who will replace Trevor? The pickings are slim, but not without hope:
Having passed on former Braves closer John Rocker, the Padres are scouting right-hander Hippolito Pichardo, formerly of the Royals and Astros and now a free agent pitching in the Caribbean World Series. Pichardo would be a long shot to get save chances with the Padres. More likely, he’d build depth behind the team’s current setup men, a group that includes Jay Witasick (who was signed over Dave Veres, the former Cardinals closer), Brandon Villafuerte, Luther Hackman, Clay Condrey and left-hander Kevin Walker.
Towers, no stranger to sugary projections, is touting power right-hander Jaret Wright, a former starter for the Indians, as another candidate.
“We’re hoping that maybe we’ve got an Eric Gagne in the making – hoping,” Towers said, referring to the Dodgers’ former starter who was the National League’s top closer in 2002.
I kind of like the Jeret Wright option. He throws hard and hasn’t had much success holding a lead as a starter — the profile of most eventual great closers, from Goose Gossage to Eric Gagne.