I/O: Bob Dutton has a bullpen piece up that is written in pre-season rotisserie guide style. Good stuff, with concise little roto captures of 21 different bullpen arms.
CRUNCH: Dutton sees the last bullpen spot being auctioned off to Dan Altavilla or Shae Simmons, whichever is the highest bidder. If true, I like the idea that one of the two cloned rookie* flamethrowers has to scrabble his way to the majors. Two men enter, one man leaves, baby.
Dutton forecasts a stock rise for Ariel Miranda based on the idea that Miranda's third-best pitch, his curve, can be consigned to dry dock. Hmmmm ... am sure that Dutton is getting this from men in uniform, but am not sure I agree with this characterization.
Starting with the idea that Miranda doesn't throw a curve; it's a weird foshball like Paxton's, a slight cutting movement thrown hard, and it's a mutated forkball. But continuing with the idea that batters hit .100-something against each offspeed pitch in 2016. What you do gotta like about Miranda is that he threw 91-95 in the rotation and that's what Mike Montgomery threw before HE moved to the 'pen. All things considered, I like Miranda at least as well right now as I liked Montgomery at the same point before his conversion, mostly because Miranda has better natural velocity.
Evan Scribner is seen as a lock to make the ballclub. He's out of options, he's making the better part of a million bucks, and he's talented. He's also unique and therefore complementary, as opposed to a duplication of style that can't be matched up flexibly. His throwback change-curve whipsaws against his fastball, about 70-30. Over the last three years -- admittedly that's a grand total of 85.2 innings -- Scribner has 90 strikeouts and 6, count them six, walks. I guess if 90:6 doesn't turn your head then Jessica Alba doesn't, either.
Both Dutton and JeDi give Mark Rzepczynski full marks as a $6M/year situational lefty. Love the way Dipoto put it, "left on left or situational setup guy," meaning you use him for that One Big Lefty or, if you're feeling your oats, in an 8th inning that has 2 lefties out of three. If Servais actually does this, then he might earn five mill.
But Nick Vincent and Zip both impress us at SSI a bit less than they impress the Mariners.
The punch line is Servais' idea: if you only have 4 outs between the starter and Edwin Diaz, then it's easy to smith up a stainless-steel awl to punch through the 7th-inning leather of the enemy lineup. Servais does indeed have what he needs to make himself look good. We'll see if he does...