May 12, 2008 – The injury to Pat Neshek’s elbow is a serious blow both to the Twins and to Pat Neshek. The Twins lost a quality set up guy and a pitcher that I think manager Gardenhire could put into a tight situation and feel comfortable that he would get them out of the jam with a minimum of damage. If needed, you could count on Neshek to get a strikeout if the situation required it. Pat will be out for several months and very possibly the season. Even more serious is the possibility for both Pat and the Twins is that rest alone will not cure the partial tear in his elbow and that surgery may be necessary but that will not be known for some time and if that comes into play, then we could be looking at no Neshek in 2009 or even worse, if this is a career ending injury. Neshek throws the ball very hard and how much faith will Pat have in the elbow coming off an injury like this? Although I have never met Pat, he sure seems to be a very personable guy and is one of the players that seem to enjoy his interaction with the fans from his home state. The fans will miss him and I will miss watching him on the mound as opposing batters flail at his offerings. The Twins bullpen took a big hit losing Pat but that is part of baseball. Who will step up and take over that setup spot? Will it be Juan Rincon, Mark Guerrier, or Jesse Crain? Dennis Reyes is best when he faces a batter or two so he is not a good choice, Brian Bass is unproven. Bob Korecky is not a lights out kind of a pitcher but more prone to give up hits and walks and wiggles his way out of trouble. Maybe the right man is the Cincinnati Reds all time saves leader that the Twins currently having pitching in Rochester in Danny Graves? It might be time to give him a shot at the big leagues again.
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AL Central Division Standings
Team W L Pct. GB Twins 26 20 .565 - Indians 25 23 .521 2.0 White Sox 23 26 .469 4.5 Tigers 23 27 .460 5.0 Royals 21 28 .429 6.5
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