FanPost

Arms race still

Here in the AL East its still an arms race. Other than Baltimore, the offences on these clubs can win any game. Our bullpen started hot but pretty much fizzled after a month other than some individual sparks of MLB quality. Starting pitching isn't deep enough, shown by John Ferrell with the frequent rotation changes throughout the year. Even today Ricky Romero and Brendon Morrow are in 100%, Henderson Alvarez in too 99.9%, No one else even close. It seems to me contenders have 4 guys that there confident will be in their rotation.

Offensively, I would still like to see Jose Bautista bat cleanup, with yuni, raz, and brett "the law" lawrie respectfully in front of him. Yunel Escobar hits that single to start, Colby Rasmus singles but the throw to 3rd gets him 2nd base, Brett Lawrie fights off those 1-2 fastballs to eventually earn a full count, stays off the strikeout breaking pitch in the dirt, and Bang. Joey Bats, no open bases, manager comes out to talk to his starter. Everyone in the stadium knows damage is about to happen. This entire scenario or any like it can't happen because there's always an open base currently with him in the 3 hole. We really don't need another bat and its easier to acquire one near deadline if your a buyer. Save the $ for pitching.

Bullpen wise, i remember early on in the season our stats looked great, but i can't even look at how we finished, we stunk it up. But this year we'll be better for at least from subtraction than the additions to date. Never liked Shawn Camp, Frank Francisco took all year to get to mid season form, we traded a bunch but we're all happy with that trade. Now we have a new closer in Sergio Santos, some new arms from the minors and a couple of quality #5 rotation guys joining them. Add in the innings we hope Casey Janssen can eat up, the only hole is a confident set-up. I'm open to giving it to Janssen or seeing if Joel Carreno can make strides, but i'd be happiest with Kerry Wood, he's reinvented himself in the bullpen and has the poise on the mound to pitch in our fellow AL east stadiums.

Finally starting pitching, as I said earlier, most teams have 4 pitchers that they are confident will at least be in the rotation to start. We have a bunch of #5s at best, and 2 or 3 young arms ready soon for major league action. Logjam! Jesse Litsch and Carlos Villanueva might find bullpen roles again but Dustin McGowan and Brett Cecil are unlikely to do so. Instead of another year of musical chairs, why not a veteran just to buy some time to figure out who Ferrell is comfortable moving forward with as our #4. Yeah i'd like Roy Oswalt, but even if Hiroki Kuroda can stay healthy for 10 starts, it might be enough time to see if Kyle Drabek is that guy. Im guessing if teams were calling for any of these guys, they would have been traded by now.

Our offence is fine, a year of Raz and Law will help too. One veteran arm for the bullpen and one for the rotation, gives us freedom to access our chips and still contend. If we can solidify our rotation four deep by trade deadline day, maybe we're buyers and go out and get a bat and another bullpen arm, that can help down the stretch. Maybe then with our foes getting older, our dynasty can begin. But for me the AL east will always be an arms race and that's where we must improve.

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