Calgary Inferno closer Kevin Krohn will miss the rest of this season – along with the playoffs – after leaving a game against Anchorage on just six pitches tonight.
With his team ahead 4-3, Krohn took to the mound in the 8th inning, replacing LHP Fernando Latorre, who was solid through 7 innings, allowing the Aces just 3 runs on as many hits.
But after throwing just six pitches to lead off switch-hitter Katai Kitigawa, who was batting from the left side, and getting him to serve up a groundball to shortstop Jon Martinez, Krohn had to leave after feeling pain in his forearm. Kitigawa’s grounder was misplayed by Martinez, allowing the Aces center fielder to reach base on the error.
With none out, and Kitigawa on base, RHP Sergio Maestas took over for Krohn, and pitched brilliantly, giving up no hits or walks while striking out 5 of the next six batters he faced, and securing his 4th save of the season.
Krohn was attended to by doctors, who diagnosed the reliever with a strained forearm, which is expected to see him recovering for 4-5 weeks. With just a week of baseball left on the calendar, and Calgary headed towards the playoffs the news is not welcome to Inferno management, who could not be reached for comment.
Krohn has been overall decent in the closer role this year, with 18 saves, and carrying a 3.79 ERA matched to a 1.37 WHIP. THe 2013 AEL Rookie and Reliever of the Year has had some struggles with consistency since the All-Star break, going 0-3 and blowing a save, but still managing to accrue 10 of his saves this season since that time.
This potentially leaves the 35-year-old Maestas as the primary closer for the Inferno, which is a problem that may leave the team scrambling for a longer term solution. Sergio started his career with the Ravens in 2008, and has had some great years in relief occasionally, notably his 2013 season, when he was 2nd in Reliever of the Year voting to Krohn after going 4-0 with a trio of saves, an ERA of just 0.75, and a WHIP of 0.81, over 36 innings.
Maestas has used his fastball to devastating effect this season, putting away 38 batters on strikeouts in just 28 innings. But his struggled with control have had some hitters teeing him up time and time again, working 34 hits off him and pushing his ERA up to 4.97.
What’s more is the cupboards appear bare for Calgary as they look towards the post-season. They have the worst bullpen ERA in the AEL, with an average ERA of 5.48, and they have only one starter who they can rely on to take them into deep innings, Fernando Latorre. Their rotation has suffered the effects of not having former Montreal Metros lefty Rod Matos, who was injured in the preseason and has been out for all of 2017.