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Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rotation confusion

After Jeremy Bleich was placed on the 7-Day Disabled List and sent to Florida yesterday, there are a lot of questions about how the new Thunder rotation will shake out. When the team left for its current road trip, its starting five looked like this:

1. Lance Pendleton
2. D.J. Mitchell
3. Jeremy Bleich
4. Hector Noesi
5. David Phelps

Now, with Bleich on the shelf, Paul Bush, a member of last year's Trenton rotation, has been taken off the disabled list. What he is not, however, according to team broadcaster/public relations man Justin Shackil, is a member of the rotation. Neither is Ryan Pope, who was pushed to the bullpen when Noesi was promoted but before Bleich was injured.

So, as it stands now, the Thunder's rotation looks like this:

1. Pendleton
2. Mitchell
3. Noesi
4. TBD
5. Phelps

Before the recent move, Pope had been a starter all his life. Bush made five starts with the Thunder last season, and two more with Scranton. He also made a handful of relief appearances in Triple-A.

Also, we know, again via Shackil, that Wilkin De La Rosa and Cory Arbiso, respectively, will start each game of the doubleheader on Saturday. I assume that one or both of Pope and Bush will see relief work at some point during those games.

So, where does that leave the Thunder as far as a fifth starter goes? As far as I see it, there are two possible scenarios, one that is exciting, and one that is not.

1. Rotating bullpen starts. Josh Schmidt, Kanekoa Texeira and Wilkins Arias made 13 starts last year, and something like that is a definite possibility for the near future. Arbiso or De La Rosa could feasibly take the place of Texeira. Eric Wordekemper could fill that role as well.

2. The other idea is Adam Warren joining Hector Noesi in the Trenton rotation. Nardi Contreras mentioned a few weeks ago that there was a good chance Warren makes his way north sometime this season. He also said Dellin Betances was close to being activated and joining Tampa's rotation.

So far with High-A, Warren is 5-3 with a 1.94 ERA in eight starts. He's struck out 32 and walked just 12 in 46 1/3 innings. By comparison, Noesi had tossed 43 innings and also made eight starts before his promotion last week.

For what it's worth, Warren last pitched Monday, which would put him on track to start Saturday in Portland, one day after Noesi.

Stay tuned, things could get interesting.

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