Our congrats to Sean Marshall
This is a dull, dull camp when the biggest news all week is Sean Marshall making the rotation.
It is a dull camp, and Marshall's winning the "fifth starter" battle is the biggest news all week, even more than Milton Bradley's flu or what's in Micah Hoffpauir's iPod. I myself figured that Sean's good nature would make it easy for Uncle Lou to slot him, for the third consecutive year, in the coveted "swing" role for sixth starter and "oh s**t" long relief. Conversely, I also figured that Aaron Heilman's past griping about not being allowed to start would make it just as easy for Lou to give him his chance given a good spring, which he has had.
I might argue the psychological effects of this move with Piniella, if given the chance (like that would ever happen) but Marshall is for the moment King of the Hill, at least every five days or so. Heilman has been told that he should learn to make himself comfy and useful along the third base line for this season, and so far, I haven't seen any public expressions of displeasure from his camp.
Marshall seems like a great guy, and at times is quite good at what he does, and I have no doubt he can at least match the performance of the Marquis du Suck, for a lot less money, and a lot less New Jersey attitude. I have gotten myself in trouble for speaking for the group, but I think I can this time when I wish Sean our most hearty congratulations for becoming the "fifth starter" for us.
Honestly, with Rich Harden on board, Sean's probably the 4th starter. Maybe 4 and a 1/2th. In otherwords, Marshall will make more starts this year than Harden.
The article linked above announcing Marshall's achievement also alludes to the current state of the bullpen. Uncle Lou announced there are "five spots locked up" in a seven man bullpen, namely Heilman, Cotts, Gregg and Marmol. Yeah, I counted four names, too. And it isn't like Six-fingers Alfonseca is still around, which may cause an elderly man like Lou to miscount. So either Lou needs a calculator or one other mystery man has made the roster. And I'm not sure Lou needs a calculator.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that Hendry has told Lou that he must carry the mystery 'fifth' man, but Lou is so damn disgusted with the pitcher's performance this spring that he cannot name him in public yet, ala Scott Eyre aka Steve Ire last year. I'm going to put my money on Luis Vizcaino - because Hendry traded duSuck for him, and duSuck was always one of Hendry's guys. Plus we owe him $4.5MM whether he lifts a finger all year or not. Whether you think he is done - and I most certainly do, and think we should just eat his contract - that's a LOT of eating.
So this leaves two spots to be nabbed between Hart, Gaudin, Ascanio and Guzman (all of whom have sucked most vacuously so far, and why hasn't anyone started calling Ascanio "Ass Can" yet?) and David Patton aka The Rule V Guy, Mike Stanton or Jason Waddell (resident LOOGYs). If I had a guess, Lou's going to pick Stanton, because just like IT executives who keep buying IBM and Microsoft because "nobody got fired buying IBM or Microsoft", nobody ever got fired giving old left-handed guys a spot in their pen. I would also guess Gaudin, although he hasn't done dick since he came here.
Congratulations, Sean Marshall! Don't forget - don't leave that curve just hanging there, ok, sport?