Friday, March 13, 2009

Hobson's Bullpen Choices

It seems the two main questions for the Nats in spring training are how is the playing time for our excess OF/1B's going to play out and who's going to make the bullpen.

(I guess a third is who's the #5 starter but in the end we all know it will end up being a parade of the veteran garbage like Wells and Chacin and the not ready for prime time players like Martis)

The internal options have been gas on the fire so far this spring.  And let's face it, we are just waiting for Saul Rivera's arm to fall off from overuse.  Really, would anyone be comfortable with any bullpen option right now in a close game?  And aside from Hanrahan, who would Manny call on to get a strikeout when he really needed it?

What about outside the organization?

Jeff Niemann is out of options and may not make the Rays 25 man roster.

He looks like a Joel Hanrahan clone . . . great K rates lousy control.  Frankly, that's more upside than a Steve Shell or even a Jason Bergmann brings to the table. 

I know the fireballer with no control taking up a valuable bullpen seat this summer is reserved for Rule V draftee Terrell Young but aren't we about the Plan?  Playing time is the one commodity the Nats have in spades.  If they could grow a successful middle guy out of someone else's dross, we'll that's how teams rise from the 102-loss grave.

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