Tuesday, April 18, 2006

When Will Eddie Guadardo Reach End of the Line?

Pitching with a torn rotator cuff and well on the wrong side of 30, Seattle's Eddie Guadardo has heard the cries of doom many times before. And each year Guadardo keeps coming back with a sub-3.00 ERA and his customary 30-40 saves. Maybe Everyday Eddie can keep doing it in spacious Safeco Field, but he ran into a little bandbox called Fenway Park on Monday and, just one strike away from the save, gave up a walkoff homer to Boston's Mark Loretta and chauked up his first loss of 2006. The season is young and the statistical sample too small to project much of anything, but with an 11.57 ERA, Guadardo more than ever may begin prompting that familiar speculation that the time is fast approaching when he must surrender the closer's role to a younger, surer hand. A.J. Putz has closed when Guadardo has missed time before, but Rafael Soriano has the inside track to the job should Guadardo continue to struggle, or finally concede that he must have surgery.