*Another spring training gone past and yet more Rule 5 causalities for the Phils. The forever dumpster diving Pat Gillick tried to find cheap "talent" via the Rule 5 draft again this offseason, but alas Lincoln Holdzkom and Travis Blackley proved to not be talented at all, much like their counterparts Ryan Budde and Jim Ed Warden from 2007.
*Lefty journeyman Vic Darensbourg and Independent Leaguer Gary Knotts were assigned to the minors. Personally I think Vic would do better than Condrey, JD Durbin, or whatever trash Gillick plugs into the final bullpen spot, but I suppose he'll have to prove himself as an Iron Pig first.
*Youngsters having a go of it this spring- toolsy outfielder and 2004 1st round pick Greg Golson posting a .429 average and a 1.143 OPS. Shortstop Jason Donald with 7 at bats, 2 homeruns, 6 rbi...not too shabby. Rising pitching prospect Drew Carpenter 4 shut outs innings against the Yankees yesterday.
*Chris Snelling (out of options) and Wes Helms (out of talent) are still battling for a roster spot. Right now the roster looks to be set with positional players: C- Ruiz, Coste, 1B- Howard, 2B- Utley, SS- Rollins, 3B- Feliz, UTL- Bruntlett, Dobbs, and, OF- Burrell, Victorino, Jenkins, Werth, Taguchi. I don't quite understand carrying either of these guys on the roster, especially not in the case of giving up a 12th pitcher.
*Speaking of 12th pitcher, here's the staff right now: starting rotation- Myers, Hamels, Moyer, Kendrick, Eaton, and relievers- Romero, Gordon, Madson, Condrey, Chad Durbin, and JD Durbin. That's correct, that bloody wanker JD Durbin looks to be heading north with the club, that same JD Durbin of 4 losses, 8 homeruns surrendered, and a 12.33 era this spring. Gillick WTF?!?!?!? Of course when Lidge, Benson, and Rosario get healthy things will really be flipped then.
*There are rumors swirling that Patty G could make a last minute move and swap Wes Helms to the Giants for lefty Steve Kline or to the Reds for lefty Mike Stanton. Waiver wire possibilities include lefties Aaron Fultz and Tim Byrdak and righty Rudy Seanez. Personally I'd take any of them over JD Durbin.
*Reliever Tyler Yates was acquired from the Braves for minor leaguer Todd Redmond. Redmond will likely become a 20 game winner for the Braves in the future, while Yates will continue to suck despite the change of atmosphere.
*Apparently Tyler Yates is God's gift to the pitching kingdom, because following the trade pitchers Juan Perez and Byung-Hyun Kim were both released with Jaret Wright being reassigned to the minors.
*All of America was gravely concerned with the battle for PNC centerfield, and the winner has been named Nate McLouth. Nice try Nyjer Morgan, but McLouth has potential McDonald's advertising campaign written all over him shall he become a star.
*Masumi Kuwata, a Japanese import last season, decided to hang up his cleats and call it a career. No offense to him, but the Pirates won't be missing him.
*What does every low-budget team need in order to rise out of the ashes like the phoenix? A can't miss pitching prospect. No! A slugging position player who can put the offense on his back and carry the team. No! A light-hitting glove-sturdy firstbaseman. Hell Yes! Doug Mientkiewicz has officially made the Pirates squad...please hold your applause.