February 4, 2009

Duncan's plan for McClellan depends on Carpenter

Dave Duncan recently confirmed something--a possibility, actually--that I'd (and quite a few others, actually) been tossing into the mix regarding Kyle McClellan's becoming a starter.

Well, Dunc put the potential pitching status chance in a short flow chart, just like we had.

Seems like I'd brought that up on the United Cardinal Bloggers Radio Hour a few times, because moving McClellan into the starting rotation made sense.

How much sense depends, however.

But first, here's the flow chart part, which goes if this, then that. Okay then, if starter Chris Carpenter is healthy and will go starting five, then McClellan will remain in the bullpen. Or ... if Carpenter is not as healthy (knock on baseball bat), then McClellan will go into the starting rotation.

And us fans and bloggers figured that one out, waaaaay ahead of time. (Pat your own back here.)

Starting is what McClellan recently said is where he wants to be; where he once was.

But there was at least one or two bloggers who felt that McClellan -- who has had his own arm dilemma -- would be at risk for further injury if he went back to the rigors of starting. I would hazard a guess that Duncan feels McClellan can handle it, so long as he works out with the starters end in mind.

I would think it would be easier to change back to the bullpen midstream than the other way around. Hence, McClellan prepares for the starting role. This may not be a big leap for him, anyway, nor bring on any huge stress, because he has the confidence to work the pen already. He knows what to expect in either role.

And who better than to determine McClellan's role and how to prepare than Duncan?
photo by Barbara Moore