Thursday, March 30, 2006

Chris Reitsma Holds Off Challenge...For Now

With rookie Joey Devine breathing down his neck, Chris Reitsma's best defense may be a strained hamstring that has kept him off the mound. The more manager Bobby Cox sees of Devine, who has racked up 18 strikeouts in 11 innings while recording a 2.45 ERA this spring, the more Cox likes him. But the 22-year-old Devine remains behind Reitsma, 28, on the depth chart because Reitsma has been sidelined by the injury, having pitched only 4.2 scoreless but somewhat inconclusive innings. Reitsma, who says he'll be ready by opening day, will keep the closer's job for now but Devine has won a reserve role that will very quickly translate into the closer's job as soon as Reitsma falters.