At times, the 2012 season has been a well-placed “kick to the groin” for the Friars from an injury and overall luck perspective. So many players have gone down, and the injuries have not discriminated in terms of the players struck by them. Young (Joe Wieland), Promising (Cory Luebke), Important (Carlos Quentin), etc., the rebuilding, yet gritty Friars have pressed on and managed to win 73 games with 9 still left to play.
In addition to the three of the many I described above, Closer and 2012 All-Star Huston Street has missed a significant amount of time due to various ailments this season. Worst of all however, Street has been absolutely “lights-out” when he has been able to answer the bell and not on the Disabled List. Street not only missed a great deal of time in early May into the summer with a right lat injury, the Closer also suffered a left calf strain in early August which had sidelined him up until today.
To their credit, Luke Gregerson, Dale Thayer, and the bevy of young and effective arms have helped to pick up the slack in Street’s absences throughout the season. Nevertheless, Street has done a terrific job this season as the Friars’ Closer. In his 38 appearances on the season (including yesterday’s), Street has recorded the following statistics:
2-0 record, 22 Saves, 37.0 IP, 12 Hits, 0 HR’s, 45 K’s to 10 BB’s, 0.97 ERA
The biggest shame yet bright-spot in this whole situation is that Street has pitched well for San Diego during his first year with the club. Even though they gave up former All-Star Heath Bell, the Padres adequately replaced their former Closer with Street. Unfortunately for Street, he has spent more time on the Disabled List this year though no fault of his own.
With 9 games left, I still remain anxious to see how Street does when he receives work down the stretch. The Padres have some tough opponents in Milwaukee, Los Angeles, and San Francisco over the next two weeks, and I my hope is that they can play some competitive baseball to the bitter end. If this happens, Street should see some Save opportunities, and I am anxious to see how he does.
I applaud the Front Office for their decision to sign to a 2 year contract through 2014, and am hopeful that he will be able to return next season and record some Saves when there are real stakes riding on the games. If Street pitches as effectively next season in say 50-60 appearances as he did in his limited window this year, we will definitely see a Friars team jockeying for postseason position. Let us just cross our fingers that Street, as well as the rest of the injured Padres can regain full health in the coming months, and stay healthy down the road.
Stats Courtesy of: Baseball Reference