Though the team has used this approach before, there have been some tweaks. According to the River Bandits, the roster includes 10 starting pitchers that are paired into five tandems and will operate on a traditional five-day rotation. The five tandems will still switch off who will start and who will come out of the bullpen each time out, and the second "starter"—or "piggyback" pitcher—will still always enter the game to start a fresh inning. Aside from the two additional starters, the main difference in this year's system involves the bullpen. Each tandem will get the day following their start to rest. The next day, the member of the tandem that threw the fewest pitches two days earlier will be available as a fourth reliever in the bullpen.
On Opening Day, Adam Veres and his tandem mate Arquimedes Nieto will take to the hill. Scott McGregor/Deryk Hooker, Chuckie Fick/Miguel Tapia, George Brown/Gary Daley, and Hector Cardenas/Kevin Thomas will follow them in the rotation.
The River Bandits will employ three full-time relievers to start the season. Ramon Delgado will join converted catchers Casey Mulligan and David Carpenter in the bullpen. To start the season, Mulligan will hold down the River Bandit closer duties.
© 2009 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.