Yes, it’s just spring training, and I’ve said previously I don’t put much stock in that, but man John Maine has looked outstanding. I’m a big fan of Johnny’s just because he’s the quiet guy who just goes out there and does his job, but he’s looking set up for a great season. Snubbed from the All-Star game last year, Maine threw a gem on the next to last day of the season that Tom Glavine obliterated the following day, but he’s come back looking in great shape and in great command. Best example of Maine’s makeup…when asked about his personal goal for the season, he didn’t give wins, Ks, an individual leaderboard item. Nope…he wants to throw 200 innings. Excellent!
Oliver Perez was smacked around by the Indians the other day, giving up 4 homers. Those are days Perez has. When he’s off, he’s WAY off. He may be more "electric" than Maine, but Maine is the #3. Perez is #4.
As for #5, we may be looking for Craig Swan, because El Duque and Mike Pelfrey seem disinterested in taking the job. Fighting for the slot, Hernandez came out against Cardinals and, without topping 85 mph, he gave up 5 runs over 3 innings of work. Pelfrey of course came out and gave up 8 runs on 13 hits in 4 1/3 innings. That Nelson Figueroa is allegedly getting some consideration for the 5-slot at this point should tell you all you need to know.
Damion Easley got some time at shortstop the other day, yet another sign Randolph really doesn’t want Anderson Hernandez on this squad. If Easley can be a capable backup for Reyes, Hernandez is destined for AAA once more.
Aaron Heilman has reportedly finally come to embrace his role in the bullpen, even counseling fellow reliever Joe Smith as far as game preparation and the like.