I’m running on fumes this morning. I’ll check for more FanFest leftovers later before they go bad like the onion dip that I found in the back of my fridge last week (speaking of fumes).
I don’t think that manager Buck Showalter has slotted his starters two months before the first game. He still needs to choose five arms. But president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail didn’t scour the free-agent market and discuss trades in an attempt to land a top-of-the-rotation pitcher.
You saw the choices. There weren’t any No. 1s in that pile.
Duchscherer could fit in the middle of the rotation or at the end. Performance dictates a lot in spring training, but you have to figure that Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Matusz are Nos. 1 and 2. Brad Bergesen had a strong finish last season, but you don’t automatically place him third. This is another area where competition comes into play - making the team and establishing a slot.
Jake Arrieta could be No. 3, 4 or 5, or he could be pitching at Triple-A Norfolk in April - though I expect him to avoid that trip.
I wouldn’t look for Duchscherer to rise any higher than 3, but we’ll see. Of course, he has to stay healthy. It’s not like he’s been Justin Durability.
I also wanted to pass along a few items:
Brian Roberts is being featured tonight on MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Now: Second Basemen.” The program airs at 8 p.m.
The last “Top 10 Right Now” episode ranks the best catchers and airs next Thursday at 8 p.m. Spoiler alert: Matt Wieters made the list.
Before you’re up to your elbows in seven-layer dip on Super Bowl Sunday, you might want to stop by Mercy Medical Center between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and hold the actual bat used by Babe Ruth in 1927 when he set the single-season home run record.
It should make for a good story later.
The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation is partnering with Mercy Medical Center to commemorate Ruth’s actual birth date. The bat has never been on public display and is normally kept in the private archives at the Babe Ruth Museum, but fans will be allowed to hold it and have their picture taken for a $10 donation, with proceeds helping to purchase blankets, respiratory equipment and other items for the center’s neonatal intensive care unit, which cares for more than 400 babies each year.
A portion of the proceeds will also benefit the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation.
The event will be held on the Mezzanine Level in the Bunting Center Lobby of Mercy’s new facility, which is located at 345 St. Paul Place. Parking will be available in the Bunting Garage, located off Pleasant Street.
I’ll be away from my laptop for a while this morning and again this afternoon while tending to some personal business, but Steve Melewski will handle any news that might come along. It’s possible that the results of Duchscherer’s physical will come back much faster than Kevin Gregg’s and he’ll be made available to the media in a conference call.
Don’t hold your breath. Just be aware.