Vizcaino reeks - I know it, you know it, and Lou knows it, too
Somewhat socially unacceptable, ethnically-inspired man hugs and perhaps even cheek-kissing for Uncle Lou today, upon reading that he is considering dumping convicted arsonist Luis Vizcaino and his ineffective-since-the-steroid-era throwing arm.
Of course, what Mr. Piniella provides us is cloaked in cliche - "Contracts don't matter. The best pitchers will pitch." Everyone from Connie Mack on down has said THAT! However, there seems to be more sunk costs being eaten this year than ever before, right, Odalis Perez? You too, Duaner Sanchez. The fact that we "gave up" the Marquis Du Suck does not matter, because we did not trade La Marquis for Vizcaino's services. We traded him for Milton Bradley's services. Vizcaino was always just an afterthought; bonus extra gravy points if he ever started getting guys out again.
Alas, he is the worst pitcher in camp, and while it is mildly refreshing to hear Uncle Lou grumble about him, I entirely believe that his are not Idle Threats. Unless Vizcaino can start punchin' fools out right quick, we aren't going to have to suffer through his frequent bouts of suckitude just because his 2009 W-2 will show taxable income in excess of 4 million dollars American.
So what are we looking at? Marmol and Gregg. Heilman (0.00 ERA) and Gaudin (5.14 in two "starts"). Neil Cotts has not given up a run this spring. The Shark, who I still say would be best served starting the year in Iowa's rotation, may end up in the pen after all. If not, perhaps Rule V guy David Patton. Mike Stanton seems to be done to a crisp. Kevin Hart has been nothing short of combustible this spring. Angel Guzman had to run off to take a call. 2003 called - it wants its potential back.
Finally, we come to the LOOGY question - and Uncle Lou does all but anoint non-roster invitee Jason Waddell, good old Number 76, as "someone to watch". Is he distantly related to Hall-of-Fame flake Rube Waddell? Anyway, New Rube has 7 punchouts in 6 innings, and the skipper is impressed with his control. Naturally, a dude with a Bicentennial Back flies under the radar. Not anymore - it will be interesting to see if he can handle the newfound pressure Lou has put on him, by introducing him to the world.
If he starts heaving stink bombs, then maybe they pull off a minor trade, or sign Joe Biemel out of Purgatory.
Canada is spitting the bit in the WBC - so maybe we'll get to see the Corey Koskie show sooner than we first expected. Finally, former ManCrush Kosuke Fukudome has reached base 6 times in 11 appearences in the WBC. Maybe he has it figured out. Let's hope so.