As the ST comes to its final 7 games, there are several arms among the non-roster invities that are intriguing at least, due to their performance during the A's games, and also for the amount of work they logged already.
We all know there are several locks on the bullpen for the Opening Day roster, and most of them has shown no reason to remove them from that status.
Balfour and Fuentes are the veterans of the bunch, and even if their performance on the ST hasn't being the best, their current contracts and track records not only make them locks, but also no reason to worry about carry them into the Opening Day roster (except for Fuentes, due to his poor first half of 2011)
De los Santos and Devine were the other 2 locks, but today was announce that Devine will start the year on the DL, leaving the number of openings in 4. Candidates are comming not only from the 40 men roster, but also from the NRI list as well! This is always a good problem to have.
If we look at the options already in the roster, several pitchers has performed well during ST:
RHP Andrew Carignan, in 5 apperances, and 6.1 IP, he has a very good 2.84 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, and with some solid appearences last year, he is making a strong case to take a spot in the big team.
LHP Jordan Norberto shows similar numbers from the other side of the plate (2.84 ERA in 6.1 IP) but with a WHIP a little higher but still good (1.26), seems like he gain more control that the desaster we saw last year.
RHP Ryan Cook has only 1 bad outing, and that inflated his ERA to 4.50 in 6.0 IP, but his fastball and WHIP (0.67) makes him an interesting option as well.
LHP Jerry Blevins has more experience than any of the pitchers in the "battle", and has being pitching very well in ST, (2.25 ERA over 4.0 IP) and he has shown better WHIP (0.50) than last years where he appeared to be really lucky sometimes.
LHP Pedro Figueroa has been a very interesting story during ST, since he just came back from TJS, but he is still to allow a run over 6.0 IP already and 0.83 WHIP. He came to ST with a long shot, but has done nothing wrong to be sent to the minors.
Those are the options on the current 40 men roster, whitout including a long reliever that could come from the losers on the rotation battles (Ross or Godfrey). That leaves very little room for the NRI pitchers to crack the team, but they are not leaving without a fight!
RHP Travis Schlichting has 9.1 IP already, most than any reliever in the team, and has allowed 3 runs in the process (2.89 ERA with 0.75 WHIP and 7 SO), so he has made a case on his own.
RHP Evan Scribner is second in the bullpen in IP (9.0) and his numbers explains why (2.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 7 SO)
LHP Erick Threets is the local boy of the bunch, and has been already sent down to the minors, but Melvin has a talk with him today, since basically he did nothing wrong to be sent down, after 6.2 IP, 1.35 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 5 SO.
Other NRIs performed as expected from an NRI (Edgar Gonzalez and Fabio Castro) but these 3 guys forced themselves into a conversation that already had too many good candidates posting very good numbers in Spring Training. Who gets the call? Under what arguments? Is it fair to DFA any of the current members of the roster to give the oportunity to any of them in the team? Very interesting signings from BB in the offseason, and that is giving us a very unexpected depth on a very key element of the game: The Bullpen.