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It's Going To Be An 11-Man Staff

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Everyone seems to be coming around, and I, for one, welcome the news. It's a tough break for Jesus Colome, who allowed three walks and struck out 11 in 11 spring innings, but then we're talking about a 32 year old with 213 walks and 314 strikeouts in 409.1 innings that matter, so it's hard to be too broken up about this. Ryan Langerhans gets to stay, which means (A) we don't lose Ryan Langerhans!, and (B) Milton Bradley will get a little less time in LF and a little more time at DH than we figured a week ago. Neat.

The staff, of course, for anyone who hasn't been paying attention, like, at all:

Felix Hernandez
Ian Snell
Ryan Rowland-Smith
Doug Fister
Jason Vargas

David Aardsma
Brandon League
Mark Lowe
Shawn Kelley
Sean White
Kanekoa Texeira

We're going to be without Cliff Lee for at least a week of the season, and it's going to take more time before he's up to 100%, so going with a six-man bullpen is ballsy. Kelley and Texeira have demonstrated that they can handle a few innings at a time, though - and White, too, to a lesser extent - so it's not an impossible situation. If it were, they wouldn't be doing it. Worse comes to worst, Luke French and Garrett Olson will be available in Tacoma for emergency bullpen relief. Bear in mind that none of these relievers is a specialist, so it's not like we'll be burning through arms after one or two batters.

I'm excited. I'm excited to find out what this team can do. I'm really excited for the bullpen, as five-sixths of it looks to be solidly above-average. And while the rotation's not sexy, as we talked about in the latest podcast, it's not nearly as bad as so many people are making it out to be. Really, it's an Ian Snell bounceback away from having an ace and a bunch of 4's and 5's. We can deal with that while we wait for Lee and Erik Bedard to return.

Monday. Can't wait for Monday.