Indians manager Manny Acta said Sunday that Vinnie Pestano will be his closer if Chris Perez isn't ready for the ninth inning at the start of the regular season.
Perez's (oblique) goal is to return by March 15 and be healthy for Opening Day. He was given a 4-6 week timetable, however, so it's reasonable to pessimistic about his optimism. We think Perez will likely start the season on the shelf, meaning Pestano will see save opportunities and hold mixed league value until the incumbent returns. Pestano, 27, posted a 2.32 ERA and 84/24 K/BB rate over 62 innings during his rookie campaign in 2011. Keep an eye on Perez's progress over the next month before deciding to spend a late-round pick on his replacement.