I may be going overboard here, but I’m pretty excited about this year’s pitching staff. It looks more and more like Johnny Cueto will make the rotation, and Voltron has a good shot at either a rotation spot, or more likely, the bullpen.
I’m actually pretty comfortable with the idea of a Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Fogg, Affeldt roation. Especially with Belisle and Voltron ready to fill in if anyone struggles. For the bullpen, you’ll have Cordero, Weathers, Burton, Belisle, Voltron, Mercker/Stanton, and maybe Coffey.
This is probably the best collection of pitching talent this club has had, coming out of spring training at least, in a long time. What’s the last rotation this good or better? maybe 1996? (Schourek, Smiley, Burba, Portugal, Salkeld – with Brantley, Shaw, and Carrasco in the pen).
The 1999 staff was really good by the end of the season, but remember that Juan Guzman came over in trade, Denny Neagle was hurt to start the season, and Steve Parris and Ron Villone didn’t emerge until mid-season. The opening day rotation was: Brett Tomko, Jason Bere, Steve Avery, and Harnisch (they skipped Neagle’s spot the first three times through the rotation).