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The 5-Spot Battle Continues

There probably isn't a positional battle of less interest to all but the most die-hard fantasy leaguers, but the last spot in the Brewers pitching rotation is still up for grabs.

Hendrickson pitched well for a few innings before getting shelled, but the bigger news is that he tried out a different arm angle today. Mike Maddux suggested he return to a 3/4 delivery, and it seems he's getting more movement on his pitches now.

"Releasing from here," Hendrickson explained with his arm extended at a 45-degree angle, "you get a lot more sink and movement on your fastball."

That is a good thing, since Hendrickson's fastball tops out at 88 mph on a good day, but it also affects his signature curveball. Instead of the looping, 12-6 curve that helped him go 11-3 with a 2.02 ERA last season at Triple-A, the three-quarters delivery leads to what Hendrickson described as a hard, "slurvy" breaking ball.

In competition with Hendrickson for the #5 spot, Gary Glover will start for the Crew tomorrow, and Rick Helling and Ricky Bottalico will pitch as well.

All of these question marks in the pitching staff point to one thing: a Brewer fan with faith in Mike Maddux is a happy Brewer fan. Maddux has shown the last two years that he can take borderline pitchers and turn them into core contributors; if he can do that with a couple of guys this year--say, Hendrickson and Derrick Turnbow--Milwaukee's pitching numbers may well repeat among the best in the league.

Who do you think should start the season as the #5 guy for the Brewers? I've added a poll and am curious to see what you think.