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Last year the bullpen was a mess from day one. Much of that was due to the fact that the coaching staff was extremely reluctant to put any trust in their young arms even when they were consistently good during spring training.
A big part of the reason Jon Axford, Zach Braddock and Kameron Loe were eventually promoted, was from injuries to Hawkins, Davis and Riske and amazingly pathetic pitching by Claudio Vargas and Trevor Hoffman.
Once those three youngsters found their roles, the bullpen solidified with the exception of Carlos Villanueva.
At the moment, the 2011 bullpen looks like this. Axford, Hawkins, Loe and Braddock are all locks. On the fence are Brandon Kintzler, Jeremy Jeffress, Mark Rogers, Mike McClendon and Manny Parra. I'd like to see another veteran arm in there that won't break the bank.
I hope Melvin learned from his Riske and Hawkins faux pas and will only sign his relievers to one year deals.