March 27, 2006

Pitching News

Prior threw off the mound today, for the first time in the 2 weeks since he had the shoulder strain. He threw 30 pitches, which seems like a good sign, though he cartainly won't be ready for the start of the season. No timetable has been set yet for his return.

Meanwhile, Williamson, who seemed to have a bullpen spot all but locked up, left a game yesterday with back spasms. Baker said he would be day to day, but the bullpen battle has turned into a dogfight. Before spring training started I had the bullpen projected as Dempster, Eyre, Howry, Ohman, Wuertz, Williamson, and Novoa. Now Wuertz is having an awful spring, Novoa had pneumonia, and Williamson might miss the opening of the season with this back stuff. My guess right now is that the opening day pitching staff will look like:
Rotation: Zambrano, Rusch, Maddux, Williams, Guzman (5th starter, called up when needed on 4/15)
BPen: Dempster, Howry, Eyre, Ohman, Koronka, Wellemeyer, Novoa, Aardsma (Until Guzman needs to start)