Not to take away from the excitement of this year, cause I am enjoying the ride. With all the activity in the minors though, I wanted to take a look into the not so distant future.
More specifically the end of this year and next.
I think we have a lot of answers already which is pretty exciting. Andrew McCutchen is going to be our CF. Marte is going to be in LF. Pedro is going to be at 3B. Walker is going to be at 2B. Martin is going to be C. Grilli is going to close and for the most part our bullpen is pretty wrapped up. Melacon, Wilson, Morris, Watson all seem to be solid for the next year and a half.
Locke and Cole look to make up 2/5 of the rotation. At this point it looks like Morton is at least going to be a good option for a 3rd spot. Liriano also looks to be a good bet for the 4th spot.
So the questions come in to what might we add, how can we improve and who do we get rid of.
1. Does AJ come back and stay healthy and if so does he retire or possibly sign a one year deal?
2. Does Wandy come back healthy and where does he fit in the future?
3. Tallion looks like he is going to be on roughly the same path as Cole was, so is that our 5th guy in the rotation for the second half of next year?
4. Do we stick with guys like Oliver, Stohly, Cumpton, Mcphearson, and Gomez for depth next year or do we go out and add a pitcher?
5. Do we bring Sanchez up and let him backup Martin for next year with the idea he will take over in 2 years?
6. Has Mercer won a play share this year and the job for next year?
7. If so do we just sign a back up middle infielder?
8. How long do we have to watch Inge struggle?
9. Does Lambo earn a spot on the team? I would rather watch him swing for the fences off the bench than Inge grounding into a double play.
10. Do we ride out the Snider/Tabata Jones/Sanchez train or do we look to add a bat? Polanco could possibly play himself into the lineup late next year. Dickerson is coming around, but don't see a real ugrade internally at 1B.
We have a lot of trade chips. We have a lot of talent in the majors and minors. A lot of young talent to boot.
It is a very exciting time, and I for one am on the fence on whether we should tweak things or ride them out and see how things come about. We aren't putting our hopes and dreams on a player or two to come be the savior.
I don't see any major improvements coming cheap(Cliff Lee). And I don't see and minor improvements out there that are assuredly better than our internal options.
Some games I watch and think, hey lets just stand pat and let these kids play. Other times, like last night, I feel like our offense needs a shot in the arm.