Sure, it doesn’t count, but baseball is back on my TV. One thing that we know needs to be sorted out before Opening Day is the bullpen. Now that I have had a glimpse of the team, I had some early random thoughts on the 2014 edition.
*It was very nice to see Bobby Parnell on the mound getting outs. It is hard to imagine this bullpen if he is not ready to go on Opening Day.
*I am not convinced that Vic Black is ready for setup work. Anything Black did in September was a tiny sample size in meaningless baseball. I’m happy we picked up his live arm as part of the Byrd trade but that doesn’t mean he is ready for late inning appearances yet. The idea with pitchers like Black and Familia is to bring them along over time, it is a long season and facing major league hitters is a big adjustment. Hopefully Valverde can be this years Hawkins, we could use another effective pitcher with high stress experience. Yesterday’s outing by Jose, obviously, was more a high stress experience for me.
*The other day I saw free agent pickup Joel Carreno strike out the side. It was early, and it was the Marlins, but I want to see more.
*Before spring training began I held out hope that Cory Mazzoni could be an April bullpen candidate. Nothing has happened to change my mind, except for the location.
Mazzoni is not ready for New York, and I don’t see a spot in the Las Vegas starting rotation either.
*Josh Edgin was throwing 88 miles per hour, getting hit hard, and has already been sent to minor league camp. Edgin was always a one trick pony, with nothing to augment his fastball. At 88 miles per hour that makes him a no trick pony. If the fastball does not come back, well, you know what they do to sick horses, right?
*With Edgin banished, Scott Rice is basically guaranteed a roster spot. And a ton of work.
*The other lefty still standing in major league camp, John Lannan, is now going to get a look in relief. I like Lannan a lot in a long relief role, but teams do not seem to ever employ pitchers that way these days. I’ve never envisioned him as a short reliever but he is under contract and we could use the help. We don’t need him as a starter, so it seems like a worthwhile experiment.
I just saw more of Carreno, quite enough. Next.