Villanueva a lock for the bullpen?

Journal-Sentinel writer Tom Haudricourt yesterday indicated that Carlos Villanueva is a lock for the Crew’s bullpen.
If so, this means:
1. Either Mike Maddux and Bill Castro have identified Villanueva as a relief pitcher or, more likely, that he would benefit from sporadic work against major league hitters;
2. Doug Melvin is probably shopping around Chris Spurling and/or Jose Capellan. Capellan likely has more appeal due to his age (26) versus Spurling (30 in June), but Spurling’s recent success (0 ER’s allowed in 8 of his 9 appearances this spring) means he may have sufficient appeal for teams like the Devil Rays, Royals, and Nationals, desperate for relief help.
My take: This seems like a short-term move that has the potential to wreak havoc on Villanueva’s development…hopefully, they decide to give him some starts in Nashville before having him in the Brewers’ pen.
David Hannes
Copyright 2007

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