Solidifying the Roster: Pitchers

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

With opening day just under a week away, the team is finalizing it's roster. For an outlook on the position players, go to Dave's roundup from Friday.

Who's In (Starters)

Josh Johnson
Ricky Nolasco
Anibal Sanchez
Chris Volstad
Clay Hensley

The disappointment of the spring is definitely the performance of the two left-handers competing for a starting job. It was thought that whichever of Andrew Miller or Sean West had the better spring would be the sole southpaw in the rotation. Instead, both struggled and neither have made it. It has prompted many, including myself, to ask of Miller, "If not now, then when?"

The good news is that the righties fighting for spots have picked up the slack. Clay Hensley, a non-roster invitee who was a long shot to make the club, has been dominant. In his 16 innings of work, he's allowed just 1 earned run with a strikeout-walk ratio of 11-1. He's definitely earned it. I'm a bit upset that Rick Vandenhurk's noticeable improvement most likely will not get him a roster spot, but hopefully he keeps it up and is ready for the inevitable injury.

Who's In (Bullpen)

Leo Nunez (CL)
Brian Sanches
Jose Veras
Burke Badenhop
Renyel Pinto
Dan Meyer

On The Bubble (Bullpen)

Tim Wood
Rick Vandenhurk
Seth McClung

It hurts to look at this. The bullpen has been cause for concern the last couple years and this roster outlook just doesn't look like much improvement. Jose Veras will be the lone reclamation project to make the club, but he is still a question mark. In fact everyone on these lists seems to have questions surrounding them. Can Leo Nunez be an effective closer for an entire season? Could either Dan meyer or RenyEl Pinto be a reliable option to retire tough left-handed hitters?

As for the final spot, Joe Capozzi says don't rule out Vandenhurk, because his ability to make a spot start is valuable. True, but Burke Badenhop also fits that role. My money would be on Tim Wood. In his 9 innings pitched this spring, he has allowed just 1 earned run.


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