In a previous post regarding the battle for the fifth rotation spot, I mentioned that I'd be keeping an eye on Aaron Heilman. I wanted him to continue to get strikeouts, and keep the ball down.
Yesterday, Heilman pitched three innings, got five strikeouts, and four ground outs.
The closeness of this race reminds me of last year, when Ryan Dempster, Jason Marquis and Jon Lieber were gunning for two rotation spots. Even though Lieber arguably had a much better spring than Marquis, his willingness to pitch from the bullpen appeared to be one of the final determinants in how the pitching staff was set up for Opening Day.
I have a sneaking suspicion Marshall will end up in the bullpen, and Heilman will be the fifth starter. Of course, it's only March 11th, but I figured I'd put my prediction out there early so you people could disagree with me.