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 Post subject: Camp observations
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:15 pm 
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Well, we are a little more than three weeks away from the season opening up and I must say there are several things that I have noticed.

-Craig Monroe, to many people's disappointment, will be one bench player. He is having a good spring and he is right-handed. Personally, it doesn't bother me because it is a bench spot.

-Andy Phillips seems to have the inside track on the utility infield spot. He can't really play SS but Vazquez can so I think he beats out Cruz.

-Veal and Hansen look like they will make the team because they can't go back to the minors and they have been throwing strikes. Veal would be a big steal for this team if he got his act together. The question is will Bootcheck win a spot too. He has been lights out.

-The rotation is Maholm, Snell, Duke and ???? Still not sure who 4 and 5 will be. I think Ohlendorf will get one spot, but if Gorzo doesn't get the other. it's because of the strike issue and Karstens, who did not pitch well Thursday, will get that 5 spot.

-Shelby Ford could be this team's second baseman this season if anything happens to Freddy. He is having a great camp.

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 Post subject: Re: Camp observations
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:34 pm 
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Agree with all of the above.

In regards to Bootcheck, I think for him to make the roster means you have to cut/trade Yates. Would you be willing to make that move? Personally I'm no fan of Yates and would make the move. However, if Bootcheck then falters, and Hansen can't throw strikes, you could have a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Camp observations
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:46 pm 
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I agree with you on all points except with Shelby Ford. Though Ford would be a decent option, I think the fact that he has yet to play above AA would cause the team to worry. I think a player like Bixler or Gotay would get the spot and Ford would get some AAA at bats. After that, if Freddy was still out and Ford was hitting, then I think he would be given the call.


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 Post subject: Re: Camp observations
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:04 am 
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chetthespian wrote:
I agree with you on all points except with Shelby Ford. Though Ford would be a decent option, I think the fact that he has yet to play above AA would cause the team to worry. I think a player like Bixler or Gotay would get the spot and Ford would get some AAA at bats. After that, if Freddy was still out and Ford was hitting, then I think he would be given the call.


I'm guessing that Ford starts the year in Indy though. I don't want to speak for bucco boy, but I interpreted his statement to mean that Ford looks like he is ready to play at AAA, and if/when Freddy gets hurt or traded later this season, Ford will probably be a reasonable option. I think you are right that if Freddy is hurt in ST, someone like Gotay, Cruz, or Bixler would come north ahead of Ford.


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 Post subject: Re: Camp observations
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:23 am 
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Yes, I meant sometime this season, not out of ST.

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 Post subject: Re: Camp observations
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:33 am 
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BBF wrote:
Agree with all of the above.

In regards to Bootcheck, I think for him to make the roster means you have to cut/trade Yates. Would you be willing to make that move? Personally I'm no fan of Yates and would make the move. However, if Bootcheck then falters, and Hansen can't throw strikes, you could have a problem.


Bootcheck is a feel good story for sure, but I wonder just how much of a difference he'd make over a guy like Yates. I'm not a huge Yates fan either but Bootcheck has a history of control problems (as does Yates) and doesn't throw as hard. You bring up a very good question, would it be worth the risk to keep Bootcheck and hope for greener pastures from your RH set-up guy, or do you keep the known commodity in Yates and take average at best production? I'm all about taking chances, but in this instance, I'd be inclined to go with Yates.

Bootcheck signed a minor league contract. Isn't there a good chance that we keep him on the AAA roster if we want? I mean he has to realise that there is a very good chance he gets the call when someone gets traded, hurt, or falters. This is a nice opportunity for him even if he doesn't make the 25 man out of spring training.


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 Post subject: Re: Camp observations
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:56 am 
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Argentum wrote:

Bootcheck signed a minor league contract. Isn't there a good chance that we keep him on the AAA roster if we want? I mean he has to realise that there is a very good chance he gets the call when someone gets traded, hurt, or falters. This is a nice opportunity for him even if he doesn't make the 25 man out of spring training.


This is true, unless Bootcheck has an opt out clause. I don't know if that is the case or not, but most ML veterans on minor league deals do.

Honestly, if we were breaking camp today my pen would be Grabow, Burnett, and Veal from the left side, Capps, Hansen, and Meek (yes, Meek) from the right side, with either Yates or Bootcheck taking the last spot. If Bootcheck continues to pitch as he has the rest of the spring, I think I have to take him north, even with his spotty history. I think that decision is made easier for me because I believe that Meek could end up as the right handed setup guy this season, meaning Yates/Bootcheck would be pitching more out of a middle relief role, and competing with Hansen for time. And we also have options such as Denny Bautista at Indy, Ohlendorf if he gets bumped out of the rotation, etc.

Also, while I don't want to get ahead of myself, don't be surprised if Veal gets stretched out in the pen and ends up in the rotation at some point this year. He was a starter, and if he shows enough stuff that the Bucs don't have to hide him, they may want to try him in that role.


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