Larry Larue's piece in today's News Tribune profiles Greg Dobbs, who plans to fight tooth and nail for a spot he doesn't deserve. Near the top of the article is a picture of Dobbs way out in front of a pitch, with a caption reading:
In 53 at bats with the Mariners last September, Dobbs hit .226 with one walk and two extra-base hits.
The other bit of news is that Hargrove plans to carry a 12-man pitching staff to start the season, a rarity in today's American League. Doing so reduces the bench to four players, with Dan Wilson, Scott Spiezio, and Willie Bloomquist already virtual locks. Competing for the final spot are Jamal Strong, Greg Dobbs, and Jose Lopez, only one of whom can be expected to hit at a reasonable level in 2005, and he's probably already blocked by Reese. God willing, Bucky will be up the minute he's healthy.
It's also becoming apparent that Sele is winning the race for the fifth starter spot, pushing Franklin into the bullpen. I've been one of the people calling for Franklin to pitch in relief for a while now, since his peripherals looked pretty good out of the bullpen a few years ago, but Sele isn't going to help anyone, and that would leave just one bullpen slot open for Nelson, Atchison, Sherrill, and Reichert. How is it that George Sherrill isn't guaranteed a roster spot again?