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State of the Rotation

After Joel Pineiro hurt his arm last July, the team was pretty optimistic that the pitcher would be able to return to action before the end of the season. On September 6th, Pineiro was moved to the 60-day DL and officially had his 2004 campaign come to a close. Consensus was that he'd be fine in time for spring.

...and he was fine, in February, when he threw off a mound for the first time since getting injured. Let's set up a quick timeline:

2/17/05: Pineiro throws off a mound, pain-free.
2/23/05: Pineiro goes 90% off a mound, his most intense workout since July.
3/4/05: Pineiro pitches in a competitive game for the first time in more than seven months. Looks like a good candidate for Opening Day.
3/8/05: Pineiro is scratched from a start due to shoulder soreness. He says he'll be fine in 2-3 days.
3/10/05: Pineiro's second consecutive start is in jeopardy.
3/12/05: Pineiro misses that start.
3/14/05: Pineiro throws long-toss, but is ruled out for Opening Day.

Joel says he feels fine, and the team is optimistic that he'll begin the season in the rotation, but anyone with even a casual familiarity with the organization's medical history should say a silent prayer.


In other rotation news, the race for the fifth rotation spot is starting to heat up. A day after Ryan Franklin allowed three home runs to the Rangers, Aaron Sele tossed four shutout innings - with seven strikeouts - against Kansas City. Regarding Franklin, Bryan Price even elected to go with the seldom-seen "he didn't look too good" ST quotation, which could mean anything from "he's going back to A-ball to work on his curveball" to "he didn't look too good." This may seem like good news to some of you, because we know what we'd get from Franklin over a full season, but we also know what we'd get from Sele, and it isn't pretty.

Cha Baek isn't impressing anyone out of the gate, as he allowed seven baserunners and two runs in three innings today. Clint Nageotte and the streaking Nate Bland also struggled today, worsening their already slim chances at breaking camp with the team, but Felix Hernandez was sharp in two innings of work, and Jeremy Reed and Scott Spiezio homered this afternoon.

Reed, Spiezio, Bloomquist, Rivera, Gil, Dobbs, and Choo have accounted for all seven of the team's home runs through 13 games (3-9-1). I'm not really sure what to make of that.

Scheduled to throw against Oakland tomorrow:

Moyer, Nelson, Villone, Reichert, Hasegawa.