Good morning Fackers. So today is the big day. We will finally find out the winner of The Most Important Fifth Starter Competition in History, and then everyone will collectively complain about the results. And frankly, at this point, I don't know what the right decision is. I'm just thankful that we're nearing a decision, which means were close to moving on from this for the time being. I just hope that whatever choice is made leaves both Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes in a position to reach their full potential in 2010 and beyond.
There were some roster decisions made last night, as another round of cuts took place. Pitchers Mark Melancon and Jonathan Albaladejo, infielders Juan Miranda and Kevin Russo, and outfielder Greg Golson were all optioned out. All should start the year at AAA. Russo's departure ensures what we speculated Tuesday: Ramiro Pena will be the utility infielder to start the season. Miranda and Golson had no real chance of making the team.
Melancon and Albaladejo had an outside shot of winning a job in the bullpen. We've seen both before and I'm sure we'll see both at various points in 2010. I'm still very bullish on Melancon's future. Their departures leave left-handed pitchers Boone Logan and Royce Ring as the only legitimate threats to Sergio Mitre nailing down the final spot on the pitching staff, though naming Hughes the fifth starter and placing Chamberlain in the Scranton rotation would leave room for both Mitre and a second lefty in the pen.
We'll be back later with a little more unconventional roster speculation.