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Friday Rockpile: The fifth starter will receive a few weeks vacation

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After yesterday's game, Clint Hurdle confirmed to Troy Renck that the club may not start the season with a fifth starter. Hurdle explains why he may do this and what he'd do with the extra spot:

"We have never had to break with five starters. Are we better served adding another arm to the bullpen?" Hurdle said. "I think we need to be more pitching-focused than having an extra pinch-hitter. You would need to have multiple guys that could pitch multiple innings."

Because the starters aren't going to pitch long into games early on, or because the pitchers are going to be chased out of games early on? So both the winner and the loser remaining in this derby (Morales and Greg Smith, the last link states) will spend time in the minors this season.

Though, if Greg Smith wins the final spot in the rotation he may not spend the early part of the season with the Sky Sox. In a question about trades, Tracy Ringolsby speculates that Smith could spend a few weeks with Tulsa to be in a better weather situation. Ringolsby would seem to favor an extra hitter for a few weeks instead of another pitcher, as Hurdle prefers right now.

Jason Marquis, already in the rotation, hopes that changes to his delivery will make him a better pitcher.

Casey Weathers writes that he is a month behind schedule in his recovery and that he had an MRI a few days ago. His next update should have the results of the exam.