And now, a word from Cold Hard Reality
If you have not done so, please check out the Blue Kool Aid Party.
Now, please notice I have attached the "bullpen" tag to this post. For we only have about 3/7th of one right now. Sweet Lou is only comfortable in using Carlos Marmol, Aaron Heilman, and Kevin Gregg, and he also knows that as long as Gregg's knee is screwed up, Gregg is only good for one inning - in fact, only one warmup.
Anyone watching lately can attest to Lou's growing disgust with Neal Cotts, although in Cotts' defense, he was never a LOOGY, and should not be used like one. And it is fortunate I am having a bowl of cereal as a post-dinner snack, because I have my milk carton out, and on it is pictures of Angel Guzman, David Patton and Luis Vizcaino. I'm surprised Kurt isn't batshit crazee right now, because it looks like his mancrush Marmol is gonna pitch even MORE innings than last year!
We're not winning 110 games with a three-man bullpen. Heck, we're not winning 95 games with a three-man bullpen. Considering the strength of our starting five, along with the dynamic offense, I think we'd finish above .500 with a three-man bullpen, and we would be DAMN happy to do so,
It is true that our starting staff is stronger than what we started with last year. It is also true that with a functioning Milton Bradley, a healthy Alfonso Soriano and a maturing Geo Soto, our offense is better than what we started with last year.
But, we can only run out Heilman, Marmol and Gregg three, maybe four days a week and retain their effectiveness. Maybe Cotts would be able to mop up a couple of innings now and again. But I have seen absolutely ZIP that suggests to me that Angel Guzman is an effective reliever. He has been given chance after chance - hell, he's been rehabbing longer than Mary Prior!! Cut his ass loose already. As for Vizcaino and Patton - I have no idea what they can do. Vizcaino pretty much sucked this spring, but he makes $4 million, which is a mere sliver of the current $135 million payroll. Are we going to piss away the remaining $131 million to save the 4?? Patton has never pitched about Class A - the time is here, now, to throw him out there to see what he can do. Heilman's arm is going to fall off if he has to pitch every spare inning before we can get to Marmol and Gregg.
Sorry, the glass ain't full of Kool Aid here. Not yet, not as long as Lou is scared to use his entire pen.