Friday, January 27, 2006

Bullpen Overload??? Trade for Starter on Horizon?

Okay- back on January 2nd, we discussed the bullpen pretty extensively, and we were worried about both quality and quantity. The general feeling was that, with the trade of Seo for Sanchez and Schmoll, we were pretty solid and had enough players in camp that a solid bullpen would emerge. With the trade of Benson, we seemingly have a weakened rotation and an even stronger bullpen. However, allowing for the possibility of a more confident, and happier, Aaron Heilman as our 5th starter, we may very well end up with both a stronger rotation as well as a stronger bullpen. Here's why- Heilman is quite a few years younger than Benson, and still has a huge upside. I don't yet buy the argument that he'll be more hittable the third and fourth time around as a starter, because with added confidence, a vastly improved season under his belt and his desire to start, Heilman has the opportunity to add a more youthful presence to the rotation. Additionally, don't discount the addition of John Maine to the rotation, if anyone falters, as well as Soler, Bannister and Iriki waiting in the wings. However, there is always the chance that, with a bullpen that is overloaded with Wagner, Julio, Sanchez, Bell, Ring, Fortunato, Bradford, Padilla, Schmoll, Iriki & Parisho, at least 2-3 of these relievers could end up packaged in a trade for a fifth starter. Omar has at least given himself lots of cards to play, and our extras could become bullpen cogs for someone else for a change. Talk about turning things around...

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