Position Battle Update - March 22nd

The spring is starting to come to a close...so what the heck is up with the bullpen?

Position: First Base
The Contenders:
Rich Aurilia – 1-4, 1 BB, 1 SO
Ryan Klesko – 5-8, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SO
Mark Sweeney – 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB
Lance Niekro – 1-6, 1 RBI, 1 SO

Did Well: Ryan Klesko.  Coming back from injury, he's red hot.  But no power?

Did not so well: Lance Niekro.  Lost in the shuffle, and soon may face the wrath of the roster cuts.

The battle so far: Aurilia and Klesko are leaving everyone else behind.  Klesko has come back from injury, now Aurilia, recent victim of a minor automobile accident, will have to come back after leaving a game in the first a day after the accident.

 

Position: 5th Starter
The Contenders:
Russ Ortiz – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 2 HR
Jonathan Sanchez – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR, 1 L
Tim Lincecum – DNP
Brad Hennessey – DNP
Kevin Correia – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR

Did well: Russ Ortiz.  He may have given up 2 runs, but it was a solid start.

Did not so well: Kevin Correia.  Ouch!

The battle so far: Um, we're just about ready to chalk this one up to Ortiz. 

 

Position: Backing Up Bonds
The Contenders:
Ryan Klesko – 5-8, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SO
Mark Sweeney – 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB
Todd Linden – 6-13, 3 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 SO, 1 SB

Did well: Todd Linden.  When his cold days are 1 for 4's, he's got a good looking spring put together.

Did not so well: Sweeney, simply for not playing so much.

The battle so far: With Klesko in particular putting pressure on Aurilia at first, Linden is really about to wrap up these all-important at-bats.

 

Position: Closer
The Contenders:
Armando Benitez –1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
Brian Wilson – 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 W, 1 BS, 1 L
Billy Sadler – DNP

Did well: Armando Benitez.  So, in this blitzed bullpen, do you keep him and hope he keeps it up, or trade at a value so high it's probably inflated?

Did not so well: Brian Wilson.  One good inning and a win in the 9th, one horrible outing blowing a save.  And Righetti called him ‘erratic' before these outings!

The battle so far: Wilson's bad outing will be magnified, since Armando has yet to have one.  That may be just a matter of time, but Benitez's comeback from injuries is encouraging.

 

Positions: Utility Guys (Up to 3 spots)
The Contenders:
Todd Linden – 6-13, 3 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 SO, 1 SB
Kevin Frandsen – 4-9, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SO, 1 CS, 1 HBP
Jason Ellison –2-6, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 CS
Fred Lewis – 2-2, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI

Did Well: Kevin Frandsen.  He got hit by a pitch!  The slump is over!

Did not so well: Jason Ellison.  It wasn't really that bad, but it wasn't like his hot start, and it'll be nowhere near enough to save him from a cut.

The battle so far: Well, just when you thought Lewis' ticket to Fresno was punched, he pulls out a nice day coming off the bench.  That said, he'll be back in Fresno.  Frandsen is really stepping back up to make a push for a utility role on the infield, but Ellison is no sure thing to be an outfield backup.

 

Position: Bullpen Non-Closers (4 spots)
The Contenders:
Armando Benitez –1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
Brian Wilson – 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 W, 1 BS, 1 L
Billy Sadler – DNP
Brad Hennessey – DNP
Kevin Correia – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR
Russ Ortiz – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 2 HR
Jonathan Sanchez – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR, 1 L
Scott Munter – 0.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO
Jack Taschner – DNP
Erick Threets – DNP
Pat Misch – DNP
Sun-Woo Kim – 3.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO

Did well: Sun-Woo Kim.  He's been added to this list, and other non-roster invitees Scott Atchinson and David Cortes could be, too.  Kim had a couple of solid outings, a rare thing in this group.

Did not so well: Lots of people, at least those who pitched.  Correia heads the group, but Munter is no one to admire at this point, either.

The battle so far: This battle is disturbingly poor.  The non-roster invitees are really going to make this one interesting, as all three of Kim, Atchinson and Cortes have thrown well.  But who to drop from the 40-Man roster to make room?  (Putting Merkin Valdez on the DL will help).
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