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Cor(e)y Snyder

The pitching staff has not shaped up quite as I picked it a month ago. That's fine; it's spring. Beckett appears to be in shape to miss probably a start or maybe two, but not enough to warrant a 15-day DL stint to start the season. I just hope that they don't put his bad back on the plane to Japan for a PR stunt. With him out, and Schilling blogging and cashing checks, that moves everyone up. Right now, the rotation is Dice-K, Lester, Wake, Buchholz, _____. Right: not ideal.

With that spot in the rotation up for grabs and two bullpen spots open, there's a battle between four guys for two spots - two, not three, because Beckett will be on the active roster but not starting initially, I think. These long-man and spot-starter spots are between Bartolo Colon, Bryan Corey, Kyle Snyder, and Julian "the pointer" Tavarez.

In the Globe today, there were three interesting bits I picked up about this battle: Tito loves big Kyle, he's "stretching it out", as in pitching enough innings that he could start if needed, and scouts are watching Corey - a journeyman with a nice sinker who pitched well at the end of last year in Boston. Tavarez was also rumored in the off season to have sparked the interest of clubs.

I think they'll trade the pointer, keep Colon in Fort Myers for a few extra weeks to build strength, and start the season with a Corey Snyder combo. Snyder can start game 5 of the season, or they could even start with a 4 man rotation since they will play two games in Japan against Oakland then fly to Dodgerland with a day off in between. Then, for the second go around in the rotation, they either bring Beckett out if he's ready, throw Snyder out there again, or send Corey down on the Merloni express to Pawtucket and bring big Colon on.

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