pitchers and catchers report; we decide

it kind of takes away from the drama of "pitchers and catchers report" day when almost everybody has already reported. the full starting staff and most of the bullpen were already present earlier this week. molina, cruz, and anderson were already sighted in camp. but the early appearances suggest that almost everybody is excited to start the season. i don't know if that translates to better in-season performance, but it can't be a bad sign.

kyle lohse was busting out a new curveball, with only some moderate success. apparently, some of them did not make it a full 60' 6". still, a "new pitch from an okay pitcher" puts him at the head of the early running for the joel pineiro award, named for the pitcher who rose suddenly and spectacularly from being a pedestrian 5th starter to being (briefly) the best pitcher on the staff, to being a pedestrian 5th starter again, and to a minor league deal for 2012. a biting curveball is not quite as likely to make lohse a temporary ace as the mystical pineiro one-seamer, but i still like to hear that pitchers are working on something new.

jake "my sinker may be heavy but i ain't" westbrook rises to lohse's challenge by losing 20 pounds.

adam wainwright and his recovering right elbow have attracted a ton of attention. as much as a layperson can assess these things, he sounds like he's meeting all his benchmarks with relative ease. jenifer langosch reports that wainwright will have his spring schedule set today.

from that same link, we learned that tony la russa will hang out with leyland at the tigers' spring training. any coincidence between that story and the story that brandon inge will compete for a second base job, despite not having played there in ever?

two other stories appear through the p-d in which tony's fingerprints are very much present. articles on the new opportunities for bryan anderson and tyler greene are both essentially pointing out that the two could not previously succeed, having run afoul of tony's fairly unforgiving nature and installing themselves (through dicey defense at defense-first positions) in the la russa doghouse (for people). both likely face more promising oipportunities this year, in part because of the retirement of a certain cantankerous senior citizen.

greene has not a mere chance, but a lock on a roster spot. on a team of lefties and switch-hitters, greene joins molina, freese, and holliday as one of a few rh options. the bench - barring the addition of tony cruz - lacks much of any rh option until allen craig returns.

anderson has one of his long-time boosters making roster decisions, although tony cruz remains fairly stiff competition. unlike greene, making the team is not a practical certainty. even if matheny personally likes anderson, will he be able to put anderson on the team if the starting pitchers give him negative reviews?

jose oquendo has been sighted giving instruction at second base to both tyler greene and zack cox, feeding the belief that a position switch is possible for cox. i would assume matt carpenter will take similar drills when he arrives, as he has previously announced that he's trying to be more flexible in his position.

the rangers are rumored to be on the verge of trading uehara, which might be a precursor to signing roy oswalt. we'll have to continue to watch the rumor mill spin, but oswalt has to feel some pressure as he watches his colleagues report. he may have overplayed his hand.

in the meantime, the last stragglers should make it to camp today. so far almost every pitcher we will rely on has thrown a pitch without collapsing in agony. i call that success.

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