This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
Today was originally scheduled to be Opening Day, It's going to be hard not juggling game times to see as many pitchers as possible from my watch list. It's Opening Day. Almost every pitcher is on the watch list. It's difficult not watching live baseball, but there is still work to be done. Some leagues have already completed their drafts. Others will be happening soon, while others have been postponed indefinitely pending a more predictable actual Opening Day.
Not that long ago, assessing a team's pitching staff heading into a season might have been challenging, but it was usually fairly consistent. Most teams would be fielding a rotation of five starting pitchers they hoped could pitch into the sixth or seventh inning, and a bullpen with somewhat defined roles. There would be a long man or two, in case the starter didn't get deep enough into the game, followed by set-up guys, charged with getting the game to the closer. By now, most roles would be fairly well defined. Of course there could still be changes as the season progressed, but there would probably be a Plan A in place. This year is different.
The focus here is on bullpens – but be aware Plan A for some teams, like the season as a whole, has been postponed. And, even more challenging, the length of the delay is yet to be determined. That creates a lot of questions. When will the season begin? I think that's virtually impossible to predict