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tlr leaning towards 12 pitchers

March 20, 2006

tlr has said in a couple of articles that he is leaning toward carrying twelve pitchers on opening day. that leaves only five bench spots open.

we all know ten of the twelve pitchers already:

starting rotation: carp, mulder, suppan, marquis, ponson/reyes

bullpen: izzy, thompson, flores, rincon, looper, ???, ???

candidates for the last two spots are: josh hancock, jeff nelson, brian falkenberg, ponson/reyes, wainwright and alan benes.

one has to assume that one of the two main players that are competing for the 5th spot in the rotation, reyes or ponson, will get one spot. so, five guys are left competing for one roster spot. hancock, nelson, falkenberg, wainwright and benes.

i think that hancock, falkenberg and wainwright will go to triple-A. the guy who will make it who dunc and tlr really like is alan benes. he is a good right-handed reliever that can come in and get one hitter out or stay in for two to three innings. nelson is a guy thats too much of a specialist, and the cards already have two of those guys. rincon is a LOOGY. looper has also turned into a specialist, only being able to get right side hitter out. why would the club need two right-handed specialists?

also, tlr and dunc have also contemplated carrying three left handers in the bullpen. the options for the third left-hander are: carmen cali and tyler johnson. tyler is a good groundball pitcher that can change speeds and get stikeouts when needed (from what i have read, seen and heard). cali, on the other hand, is more intriguing. he can get lefties and righties out, but most importantly, he can strike out guys. the guy throws hard, 95-97 mph fastball will do that for a pitcher. i really like him a lot, if he can only possess control of that fastball, he can go a long way. the cards have not had that guy that you bring in to strike people out (expect for al reyes last year), and i think cali is the guy.

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