Handicapping the Bullpen Race

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Handicapping the Bullpen Race

. Thursday, March 19, 2009

Last season, Jason Marquis caused more frenzied activity here than the Mark Chmura at a high school hot tub party.

As I posted earler (no link, just scroll, lazy ass), Sean Marshall is going into the rotation, and Aaron Heilman is going into the bullpen. So that locks the bullpen as thus, so far:

- Aaron Heilman (promising, but not necessarily great)

- Carlos Marmol (Filthy)

- Kevin Gregg (Not my real dad)

- Neal Cotts (shrug)

After that, it's pretty much a toss-up for the last three spots in the pen, and each candidate has their own particular capacity to shock and terrify. Let us run down the candidates. Unfortunately, ESPN does not keep good spring stats - most likely because very few people care.

- Jeff Samardzija: Contrary to what some may think, him losing the starting role does not guarantee a spot in the bullpen. Especially because saying he lost the starting role is like saying hitting .179 in my freshman year of high school baseball lost me a shot at the major leagues. There are serious problems to be addressed before we count on him to be anything this season. But the fastball is extra sexy to Cubs fans, and Samardzija has a good one. Let's just hope he ends up as more Wood than Farnsworth.

- Chad Gaudin: Initially thought of the cherry on top of the Harden trade, he's quickly devolved into a pitcher who has given up more earned runs this Spring Training (12) than Ken Kadokura, Rocky Roquet, and Kevin Hart combined. He might get cut loose - which is a shame, because WAIW loves us some good facial hair.

- Kevin Hart: As much as Lou and Hendry might want him to be, he's still not there. We can talk small sample size, but he took a step back in 2008 and hasn't shown us any progression yet. A 6.14 ERA might not sound like much, but please do keep in mind that Mets cast-off Heilman is sporting a sub-2.

- Angel Guzman: Through a mixture of injuries and poor timing, he's never become the pitcher that he was hyped to be in his younger years. He's out of options and hasn't shown the team any reason to hang on.

- Luis Viscaino: He's been pitching like late-period Bob Howry on a six day Goldschlager bender, but we'd have to eat $4 mil to cut him loose. So he'll probably make the pen. I'm not sure it was worth getting rid of Marquis just to pay this guy to please, for the love of God, not throw.

- David Patton: The Rule 5 pickup from the Rockies has an outside chance, having given up a single run in 6.2 innings of spring work. With our up and down pitching staff, not sucking has turned into a distinguishing factor. He's never pitched above A ball before, but if he doesn't make the cut, the Rockies can take him back.

- Jason Waddell: Also hasn't sucked, but mostly has experience putting up mid-3 ERA numbers in the Giants low minors. He's on a minor league deal, so we're more flexible with him. Translation: He's not probably not going to make it.


Ginger Russ said...

I solved the bullpen: http://www.collegeofidiots.com/2009/03/just-as-i-predicted-heilman-gets-5-spot.html

Actually I wish we could keep Patton, but I think Viscaino and Samamjrisdsa will make it, despite the bad ERAs