At least two teams entered yesterday’s Opening Day with only twenty-four players on their roster, one short of the maximum allowed. Both the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds were hoping that a last-minute trade would bring quality relievers to fill the final spots, but when nothing materialized, both elected to add players already in the fold.
The Phillies added Joe Bisenius to their final spot, a hard-throwing right-hander who has never pitched above AA Reading, where he had 33 strike outs in 23 and a third innings and many in the Phillies organization see him as the closer of the future. If the 24-year old pitches well on 2007, he could become the long-sought after set-up man the team needs.
The Reds turned to Victor Santos, a 31-year old journeyman who can pitch out of long relief or the rotation. Santos has a weakness for the long-ball, so manager Jerry Narron may want to reduce his appearances at home.
Expect both teams to continue looking for late-inning relief either through trades or the waiver wire.