After committing a throwing error while playing for the Cubs'
Triple A team in Iowa in May, righthanded reliever Will Cunnane
punched a towel dispenser in the clubhouse and broke his pitching
hand. Even though the Cubs released him two weeks later, Cunnane
says his outburst was a fortunate event. The 29-year-old
righthander was signed to a minor league contract by the Braves
in July and has been a lights-out interim closer since being
called up to Atlanta on Aug. 7, with John Smoltz on the disabled
list with tendinitis in his right elbow.
At week's end Cunnane was 3 for 3 in save opportunities and had
surrendered just two runs in 15 innings, while opposing hitters
were batting .148 against him. When Smoltz returns, perhaps as
early as next week, Cunnane will move into a setup role in a
bullpen that has been a team weakness (4.10 ERA) all season. Any
role suits Cunnane, who believes that if he hadn't KO'd the towel
dispenser, "I'd probably be at home, watching games on TV."