As spring training draws to a close, one of the more interesting roster decisions to come out of Camp Cardinal involves pitchers Anthony Reyes and Brad Thompson.
This is nothing new for Reyes, who is no doubt accustomed to being treated as a human yo-yo for the purposes of placating the inner child of manager Tony La Russa. Reyes has spent much of past few seasons bobbing up and down from St. Louis to AAA Memphis.
It appeared that despite a relatively strong spring a and a lack of healthy starting arms, Reyes was headed back to the minors. However, not too long after those reports surfaced, it was announced that Reyes had in fact made the team as a reliever, and Brad Thompson had won the job as the Cardinals fifth starter to begin the 2008 campaign.
Reyes and Thompson did have comparable numbers. Reyes posted 2-1 record with 3.32 ERA in 19 innings with a 13 strikeouts against only three walks. Thompson did slightly better, going 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in 16-1/3 innings with a team-high 14 strikeouts versus four walks.
Even so, this still seems backward. The guy that has spent his whole career as a starter (Reyes) is the reliever, and the guy that has spent the vast majority of his time in the majors as a reliever is the starter (Thompson).
Then again, our “lead-off” hitter does bat ninth, so maybe it makes perfect sense.