Rangers RHP Eric Gagne to start season on DL
March 29, 2007
SURPRISE, ARIZONA (TICKER) -- Although he will play for a new team in a different league, Eric Gagne will begin this season in a familiar place - the disabled list.
The Texas Rangers announced Thursday that the oft-injured Gagne will start the regular season on the 15-day dl.
A three-time All-Star closer, Gagne has been ravaged by a litany of injuries over the past two seasons and still is recovering from numerous operations on his shoulder, elbow and back.
Signed to a one-year deal reportedly worth $6 million in incentives in December, the 31-year-old Gagne has worked just three innings this spring, allowing five runs and three hits.
The Rangers apparently feel Gagne needs more work before the season.
"(Gagne is) feeling great," Rangers pitching coach Mark Connor told the team's web site. "He just needs to pitch more innings."
In Gagne's absence, Akinori Otsuka will be the closer. Last season, he was 2-4 with a 2.11 ERA and 32 saves in 36 opportunities.
Originally a setup man, Otsuka assumed the role of closer after a series of blown saves by Francisco Cordero, who later was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers.
The 2003 National League Cy Young Award winner, Gagne owns a record of 25-21 with a 3.27 ERA in 298 career games - all but 48 in relief - with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The major league record holder with 84 consecutive converted saves from August 28, 2002-July 3, 2004, Gagne has recorded 161 lifetime saves - including a career-high 55 in 2003, when he posted a 1.20 ERA in 77 games.
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=r ... &type=lgns
looks like otsuka's back! temporarily at least....