45 degrees with a 25 MPH wind — sounds like DC will be fun tomorrow.
I slept late, didn't realize the game was on the radio, and belatedly
turned it on to hear muttering about Felix Heredia and news that Matt
Ginter is gone, sent to Detroit in return for Steve Colyer, owner of a
6.75 ERA in addition to sundry dry goods. (His problem is — brace
yourself — that he can't throw strikes.) The end of the Matt Ginter
era proves, for the 44th year in a row, that figuring out rosters
before the last hours of spring training is pointless, since a
dog-and-cat trade always scrambles things. (Of course it's better than
watching the snow melt.)
So if I've got this right, which I probably don't because I came in
late, our bench and bullpen are set and almost completely overhauled.
The bats are Ramon Castro, Miguel Cairo, Chris Woodward, Marlon
Anderson and Eric Valent; the arms are Braden Looper, Mike DeJean,
Dae-sung Koo, Mike Matthews, Roberto Hernandez, Manny Aybar and
(barring injury or sanity) Felix Heredia. Four out of five bench guys
are newcomers, as are five of seven bullpen arms. (And if you remember
Mike DeJean vividly, you're a better man than me.)
I can't quibble with the bench: Cairo and Woodward in particular seem
like very valuable hands. But the bullpen shows Randolph (and maybe
Omar) did exactly what I feared would be done: fetishize experience
over potential by handing jobs to guys whose recent careers suggest
it's time for the golf course.
Heath Bell and Bartholome Fortunato should be on this team because
they're clearly ready to contribute to a major league baseball club
and have futures measurable in something more than months. But
instead of learning by facing the top echelon of baseball, which is
what they have to do, they'll be doing what they've already done at
AAA. Troglodyte thinking, with a certain Bronxian gold-watch mentality:
Roberto Hernandez has earned the
right to watch balls go screaming into the gap, kid. Now go fetch me a
Gatorade if my eighth-place hitter hasn't done it already.
I know it's silly to get too worked up over this. As I've mused before,
middle relievers are like minefield clearers — you'll need a
whole new set before the job's halfway done. I'll be shocked if two
guys out of the trio of Hernandez, Aybar and Matthews are still here at
the break, and wouldn't be surprised to find them all gone by Memorial
Day. I just wish more of them were gone now.
On the other hand, at least we aren't employing Lenny Harris. Why don't
the Marlins just pile up some of those fertilizer bags at first? The
range factor would be the same.
Happier tidings before I hand this off: Bill Pulsipher made the Cardinals. Now there's a washed-up pitcher I could get behind.
Terrel Hansen lives!