Ron Washington this morning ran down the pitchers that he expects to be in the Opening Day rotation, and it is the guys we've been figuring all along would be there. With Eric Hurley out of the picture, I think that it would take either an injury or one of the anticipated five -- Millwood, Padilla, Harrison, Feldman, McCarthy -- really, really sucking for someone different to crack the rotation.
And I suspect that Jason Jennings is still slated to be this year's Sidney Ponson, the guy working on stuff in the minors while waiting for someone in the rotation to go down with an injury.
Jim Reeves talks about the veterany look the bullpen will likely have, and mentions Juan Cruz as a guy the Rangers have interest in, but who they think is too expensive right now.
The thing that makes Cruz tricky is that he's a Type A, and will cost the Rangers a second rounder. Otherwise, I suspect they (and numerous other teams) would have already been all over him on a one year deal...but if you are going to give up even a second round pick for a guy, I think you are going to want to at least have the option to have him around for more than the 2009 season.
Cruz would be a terrific addition for the bullpen, if the Rangers and Cruz could find a way to make it work, but I imagine it would have to be a creative deal that allows the Rangers an option year or two and gives Cruz the right to void the options or increase what he gets based on certain incentives.
But Cruz would probably be the best reliever in the bullpen...and while I'm not really all that fired up about the bullpen as-is, if they could somehow figure out a way to get Cruz here, having him, C.J., and Eddie setting up Frankie Francisco...well, that's something I could get enthusiastic about.