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Saturday Morning Rockpile:

Troy Renck gets an anonymous team source tip that Byung Hyun Kim might be finished with the Rox, which it seems would be the best decision for all involved. The report also has discouraging news on Kaz Matsui and Rodrigo Lopez's long recoveries, as they both seem to be on the shelf for some time ahead yet.

With this news, it becomes more important that the replacements for these players are up to snuff, and so far the results have been underwhelming. Taylor Buchholz hasn't proven himself a solution in the rotation, and Jamey Carroll slipped into a deep slump almost immediately after Kaz's injury. Other in house alternatives at second have done worse. Bridging this gap to the point where Lopez and Matsui return should be a priority for the front office, and yet it seems little is being done on that front. Comparing this effort to how Billy Beane is attempting to solve the Athletics' injury gap leaves me wondering what Dan O'Dowd's been up to the last couple of weeks.

Somewhat surprisingly, our current bullpen model seems to be the best we've had out there all season, and getting Rami back will only make it better. Zach McClellan and Alberto Arias have stepped in with strong performances, and Denny Bautista's work has at least been serviceable. Jeremy Affeldt allowed the run last night, and certainly doesn't inspire much confidence with the amount of baserunners he allows aboard, but overall his end results have been decent. And then of course there's still Tom Martin, who's our pocketed concession speech, but hopefully the organization sees the light when Rami returns and lets him go.

One final note on last night's game:
Anybody think Juan Pierre would be able to make up for an out he ran into on the basepaths by throwing a laser to the cut-off man like Willy T did in the third inning to gun down Griffey Jr at third on Adam Dunn's single? If we don't get Griffey there and he scores along with Dunn on Alex Gonzalez's double, the game doesn't go into extra innings. I'm happy Taveras is out of his season opening slide, and let's hope this is the pay we can expect from him for the bulk of the season.