Thursday, February 17, 2005

More Unanswered Questions 

A day late perhaps, but the Republic got into the spirit of my 4 questions yesterday by one-upping me and listing 5 questions. (That's why they pay them reporters the big bucks.) The one question they asked that I wished I hadn't forgotten to include yesterday was who will get the catching spot. Before today's article, I'd heard but never seen attributed to anybody in charge that veteran Kelly Stinnett will probably be on the 25-man squad, with Snyder and Hill competing for the starting role, the loser kicked off the island and sent to Tucson. Yesterday's AP article on the Republic's website had a couple other interesting comments:

"'I'm not here to say that I need two lefties in the bullpen,' Melvin said. 'If we have a right-hander that we feel is just a more talented pitcher and can get left-handers out, that's what we'll do.'" -- so perhaps Halsey isn't as much of a lock to make the 25-man squad as I thought. (But I still think he will.)

"Oscar Villarreal might have a slight edge over Mike Gosling, Brad Halsey and Ramon Pena for the fifth spot." -- of course, this would be a lot more interesting were this quotation attributed to someone or were some justification attached.
So let's take another shot at a probable 25-man lineup, last attempted a month ago:

C: Snyder or Hill (I think Snyder will get the nod, just because I think he's a better offensive threat)
1B: Tracy
2B: Counsell
SS: Clayton
3B: Glaus
IF: Stinnett
IF: Kata
IF: Cintron
IF: Clark
LF: Gonzalez
CF: Cruz
RF: Green
OF: Terrero
SP1: Vazquez (Melvin's prevarication notwithstanding)
SP2: Ortiz
SP3: Webb
SP4: Estes
Closer: Aquino
Setup: Koplove
LOOGY: Choate

That leaves 4 pitchers (Melvin's stated he'll carry 11 pitchers), including the 5th-spot and one position player to be determined. The position player competition would come down to McCracken, DeVore, Green, and Hairston. Unbelievable as it may sound, forced to choose right now I think McCracken will probably get it -- remember, he played for Melvin in Seattle. As for the pitchers, it seems like the 5 most likely pitchers to make the squad are Villarreal, Gosling, Halsey, Pena, and Lyon, with maybe Bruney next most-likely. If I had to guess, I'd go with Villarreal, Halsey, Lyon, and Bruney. Gosling pitched really well in his attempt to crack the starting lineup at the end of 2004, but he seems to be a pitcher more suited for a starting role than a relief role. And if Villarreal gets the 5th spot, that leaves Gosling on the outside looking in waiting for the inevitable collapse of someone in the starting rotation.

Still, answering these questions will be fun over the next 6 weeks.


Finally, Jim has found a job and started a fantasy league. Do go consider joining -- it's free to play...

There will be at least a 3 way tie for last.
We gotta get a ringer in here...
Fix your link up top ("4 questions yesterday").
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