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beyond the fringe

if you're looking for the results of the cubs community projection, they're directly below.

jeff nelson has only pitched twice so far this spring, facing four hitters, while guys like brad voyles and brian falkenborg are getting regular work. pitching well too. through the 1st 11 spring games, the longshot candidates for the bullpen -- voyles, falkenborg, benes, hancock, riedling, neal -- have been scored upon just twice in 17 appearances. their collective line:

ip h w so w-l-s era whip
22.2 19 4 11 2-0-1 1.59 1.015

fine stats, but take 'em with a grain of salt; they're coming against watered-down early-spring lineups, ie the john galls and prentice redmans of the grapefruit league. i've been intrigued by voyles in particular, but the more i think about this the less likely it seems that he -- or any of these other auditioners -- has any chance to break camp with the cardinals. five 'pen slots are set -- izzy looper rincon thompson flores -- and a sixth will almost surely be filled by ponson wainwright or reyes. that just leaves one position, and i think nelson's prob'y close to a lock for it; his lack of work likely just reflects the fact that tony/dave already know what he can do don't need to evaluate him further. so he gets his work in on the side, while the fringers show what they can do in game settings before they get transferred to the memphis camp. when one or more of these guys gets called up midseason to fill an injury vacancy -- or to replace nelson, if he's washed up -- tony and dave will have something to go on.

for other bottom-of-roster musings, read:

here's's matt leach on chris duncan's bid to make the team: "First baseman/outfielder Chris Duncan has drilled the ball all spring, and Duncan keeps getting at-bats as a result. . . Duncan could force his way onto the roster if he keeps hitting."

cardnilly has an excellent essay about the mcgee mystique -- what we love about willie and why.

finally, there's this: bugs bunny. baseball. can't possibly go wrong with that combination.