Thursday, January 7, 2010

Swapping out generic middle men

The Twins signed Clay Condrey, a 34-year-old right-handed middle relief pitcher to whom the Phillies declined to offer a contract, and bid farewell to Bobby Keppel, who will take a bigger offer to pitch in Japan.

There's not much to see here. Barring injuries to the established bullpen crew, it was difficult to see a place for Keppel on the major league roster. It isn't easy to see one for Condrey either.

I ran through this exercise in December, but let's repeat: Here's a logical set of bullpen roles.

Closer: Joe Nathan
LH setup/LOOGY: Jose Mijares
No 1. 8th inning: Matt Guerrier
RH setup No. 2: Jon Rauch
RH setup No. 3: Jesse Crain
LOOGY no. 2: Vacant
Long man: Condrey, or somebody who lost out on the fifth starter job (Brian Duensing, Francisco Liriano, Glen Perkins...)

Missing for that list is Pat Neshek. Nobody knows exactly what to expect from him, or if he's going to be ready for the majors at the start of the season.

Condrey had a nice season for the Phillies last year (6-2, 3.00 ERA in 45 appearances), but he's not really that good. It's a minor move.

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