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by Derek Smart
According to, well, basicallyeverybody, Sean Marshall isn't just in line to join the club in mid-April, he's got a shot to break camp with the team and supplant Jerome Williams in the rotation.
I'll admit, this whole thing has me torn. I like Marshall quite a lot, and I'd even say he's probably the best solution at the moment for that fifth spot in the rotation, if not the fourth. Yet, I have a little trepidation about how little experience he's had above A-ball, the worry being that, it being Spring, the good that we've seen is something of a mirage and that, once exposed to the reality of Major League competition, Marshall could wilt and perhaps even do serious damage to his development, especially from a psychological standpoint.
I don't know how much of that concern is reality-based and how much is pre-season cold feet, but it certainly makes one wonder how much the potential insertion of Marshall into Jerome Williams' presumed rotation slot is based on Management's need to shore up their case for contract extensions. Much as I like Marshall (and the more I think about it, he reminds me of a left-handed Jon Lieber), his long term prospects are likely best served by at least a half-season of work in West-Tenn, if not considerably more.
Yet, here we are at the season's start, and like it or not, the team is going to use him. We can speculate all we like about how this will affect young Sean, but we won't know until it happens, and happen it will. So, keep your fingers crossed, and hope for the best, because more than this year is riding on the result.