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Jeff Suppan Vs. Previous Reclamation Projects

As I wrote yesterday for Viva El Birdos, the two most reclamation projects most redolent of the Cardinals' newfound affection for Jeff Suppan—or at least the shoulder-angel and shoulder-devil examples of Duncan projects—are Andy Benes, who came barreling down the stretch in 2002 with a knee-brace the size of a Victorian bustle and a splitter he apparently learned from Chuck Finley, and Mike Maroth, who stands for all the nightmarish rotation fixes the Cardinals attempted in that doomed 2007 season and eventually gave up 50 runs in his last 30 innings. 

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Suppan, for what it's worth, did a fair job of resembling each one. Like Benes, who had appeared to be retired before he came back to save the rotation, he wasn't ready to take on a full starter's workload immediately; Benes pitched four innings and allowed two runs in his return to the active roster. 

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Like Maroth, whose outstanding debut was one of two good starts he'd make, his peripherals were surprisingly solid—and precisely four strikeouts and two walks, although Maroth did that over seven and a third. 

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And like both of them, it's too soon after one start to tell what kind of stop-gap Jeff Suppan will be. 

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