Bullpen

Lots of youse guys are stressing about the bullpen situation.

So far, we have four confirmed in Ray, Hawkins, Brower and Byrdak, and outside of Ray, I readily admit that that foursome doesn't exactly make me think we're going to shut down the opposition in the last three innings.

The favorites for the three remaining spots are DuBose, Halama and Sendy Rleal. If he makes the team, Rleal probably has a really good shot at being the second-best bullpen arm on the team.

The Todd will be back at some point, but he's no guarantee or anything. Not that I don't love The Todd, but realistically.

I spent a lot of the spring thinking that the bullpen would work itself out and be fine at the end of the day, and I think that can still happen, but I admit I'm more worried about it than I thought I'd be by now. It's Friday night, the season starts Monday, and it's still not even decided who's going to be there and who isn't outside of four guys, three of whom aren't going to inspire much in the way of confidence, and the one who does is a rookie closer.

Yeah, it's looking shaky for now. I sure wish we still had BJ Ryan, but I wouldn't have given him that contract either, so I can't be too mad about it.

On the plus side, Mazzone has pulled some quality bullpens out of retreads and occasionally thin air before. In 2002, of course, he got career years out of Chris Hammond (0.95 ERA in 76 innings, hadn't been in the majors since 1998) and Darren Holmes (1.81 ERA in 55 innings, hadn't pitched in 2001). He's gotten good years out of guys like Kerry Ligtenberg, Jose Cabrera, Juan Cruz, Kevin Gryboski, Kevin McGlinchy, John Rocker, Mike Cather, a 37-year old Mike Bielecki, Pedro Borbon, Terrell Wade, Brad Clontz, so on and so forth. They generally don't have staying power, but then that's the life of relief pitchers anyway.

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