Don Cooper told Sox fans and the press alike that he is leaning towards bringing 12 pitchers back to Chicago if he is able. This means that a handful of guys would compete for the 11th and 12th spots. For the heck of it, we'll say a LOOGY gets a spot, which would leave someone to take over Luis Vizcaino's spot from last year. It's a fun bunch.
- Jeff Bajenaru -- Baj has had some mighty successful years in Charlotte, otherwise known as a pitcher's hell. He allowed 45 hits in 70.1 innings while striking out 83. He started out well in Chicago, having hung zeros up until a night against Cleveland when Hafner hammered him. He's proven all he can in AAA. He'd be in Chicago if he threw with his other hand. He needs to now get over the hump and show Ozzie that he can trust him. -- Odds: 4:1
- Sean Tracey -- Sean is the one "prospect" that show up on the list this year, namely because a lot of the guys in front of him are off the list. There have been mutterings and thoughts put out there that he could be an effective bullpen pitcher. He''s got his own control working against him however, with a WHIP of 1.41 in Birmingham this past year. Yes, Mr. Jenks may have come up out of Birmingham and succeeded, but if Mr. Tracey has a 100 MPH fastball, he's done a nice job of hiding it. Expect him to start in Charlotte. -- Odds: 25:1
- Lance Broadway -- In order to make this post longer, I threw Lance in here. He does have an advantage in being invited to camp, which is better than a guy in Josh Fields (the pitcher) that could probably come in and compete. Granted, Fields was hurt at the end of last year, and his status is questionable. Lance has no shot, but it'll be worth a look to see how he performs. -- Odds: 175:1
- Agustin Monero -- Montero has a transaction blotter that has more A's on it than my high school report card. He hasn't been spectacular, or even mediocre since throwing in AA in 2004. Your guess is as good as mine as to why he's here. -- Odds 48:1
- Tim Redding -- Redding has the major advantage of meaningful major league experience, namely as a starter. He could be seen as a bit of a 7th starter option, but his best chance to make the roster is as the 11th or 12th guy. If he can prove he can regain some of the form that he had in 2003 when he went 10-13 with a 3.68 ERA for Houston, he could swoop in and grab that last spot. -- Odds 4:1
- Mystery Guy -- If the LOOGY competition is a bit crazy and two guys are outstanding, there could be a slim chance two lefties stay. A better chance would be another invitation or a trade, but it sounds like Kenny and the management are confident that the guys who can fill the last 1/2 pitching spots can be found in-house. -- Odds: 30:1
So basically, if we have 12 pitchers, it's likely down to organizational guy Bajenaru or semi-journeyman Tim Redding. Bajenaru has familiarity and a solid minor league numbers on his side, while Redding has experience. This may be entertaining. Or it might not. Depends if you're into this sort of thing....