FriarBall: 2007 recaps: Relief pitching

Saturday, October 27, 2007

2007 recaps: Relief pitching

Alright, back to our (somewhat) regularly scheduled programming and on with the recap of 2007.

Along with the starting pitching, the pen was considered a strong point coming into the season and it started out as such. But as the season wore on, it was apparent Bud Black favored certain pitchers in certain situations and sometimes that came back to bite the Padres.

With the exceptions of Trevor Hoffman, Doug Brocail and Scott Linebrink (who finished the season in Milwaukee), the pen was a relatively young group that still had plenty to prove. During the first two months of the season most of those guys came off as unhittable but they couldn't keep the torrid pace up all season.

There are definitely some good parts in the pen. Heath Bell proved to be a steal of a deal, Cla Meredith is a solid situational guy that induces ground balls and new guys and Justin Hampson and Kevin Cameron showed a lot of promise. It will be interesting to see what, if any, pieces are added here in 2008. With all of the guys acquired late in the season, including the Linebrink deal, this could just be a maturation process we are waiting for instead of adding any other pieces.

Heading into the 2008 it appears SD has plenty of pieces in place to make another run at the playoffs but it will take a couple of key additions all around the board to make it a success instead of the near miss it was in '07.

What players/pieces are we in need of? That's what we have the entire offseason to discuss.

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