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News to Me
by Derek Smart
Okay, I admit I've been
A little out of it
A little reactionary
A little lazy
Still, I was surprised to find on perusing the papers this morning this little throw away in the Trib:
If Jae Kuk Ryu makes the team as a long man in the bullpen, that leaves Rich Hill, Sean Marshall and Angel Guzman to compete for the fifth-starter's spot.
The competition for the starter's spot I'd seen, but this was the first I'd noticed that Ryu was up for a relief job. I don't know if it was mentioned before and I just missed it (A and/or C), or whether I was so preoccupied with foaming at the mouth and lambasting potential trade scenarios (B, with a soupçon of C) that I overlooked it.
Whatever the reason behind my ignorance of the matter, I'll admit I kinda like the idea, although I'm not clear if Ryu is being thought of as an 11th or 12th man. There could be some serious ramifications for players like Michael Wuertz, or for some of the positional fellas vying for a spot on the bench, depending on which it is.
However, potential implications for other players aside, teams have had success bringing along young pitchers by putting them in a swing man role with the big club before tossing them full time into the lion's den of starting in the Majors, and something tells me this would be a good way to work Ryu into the mix, particularly in light of his past maturity issues. Plus, his K-rate, K/BB, and HR-rate are solid enough that he should fare well when not starting. I'm curious to see how this turns out, and whatever comes down, I'll try to save my lathering up for more important things.