Clearwater, FL (Sports Network) - Philadelphia Phillies new closer Billy Wagner is expected to be sidelined approximately one week due to soft tissue inflammation in his left middle finger.
Wagner felt discomfort during a throwing session on Tuesday. The lefthander underwent an MRI, which showed no ligament, joint or tendon damage. He is expected to resume throwing next week.
The Phillies acquired Wagner from the Houston Astros in November. The 32-year- old went 1-4 with a 1.78 ERA and recorded a career-high and franchise-record 44 saves in 47 opportunities last year for Houston. In 2003 he successfully converted an Astros-record 22 consecutive save attempts and made a career-high 78 appearances. He leads the majors with 118 saves in 129 chances since the beginning of the 2001 season.
Wagner finished third in the National League in saves, behind only Eric Gagne (55) and John Smoltz (45). His 93.6 save percentage (44-47) was also third- best in the league, trailing Gagne and Rod Beck, each of whom converted 100% of their saves. Among NL relievers, Wagner finished second in strikeouts (105), third in opponents average (.169) and fifth in ERA, innings and strikeouts per nine innings (10.99).