Monday, March 19, 2007

11 Pitchers

From "Little says team will start with 11 pitchers: The decision opens a spot for a position player, probably either Loney, Bigbie or Valdez" by Steve Henson at the L.A. Times:

VIERA, Fla. -- James Loney, Larry Bigbie and Wilson Valdez aren't pitchers, but a decision regarding the staff is expected to impact at least one of them greatly.

The Dodgers will begin the season with 11 pitchers instead of 12, Manager Grady Little said today, creating a 14th opening for a position player. Vying for that spot are Loney, a polished first baseman and neophyte outfielder who led the minor leagues with a .380 batting average in triple A last season; Bigbie, an outfielder with power who has been impressive after signing a minor league contract; and Valdez, a journeyman utility player whose versatility and strong spring have kept him in contention.

Loney has nothing to prove at triple-A except developing power, yet he would be the easiest of the three players to demote because he has minor league options. Bigbie's contract has an escape clause that would enable him to sign with another team if the Dodgers try to send him down. Valdez is out of options and could sign with another team if he's not on the opening day roster.

Don't like how this looks for Loney, who deserves that spot, but Bigbie's got the Bigbat.