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Let's put Bonds aside for a moment. We've played rounds of Guess the Rotation since spring training, and with our game for Sept. 1 still pending, I don't want to start another one officially right now.

But the reality is that Shawn Hill is starting for Columbus tomorrow, and if all goes well, he's supposed to pitch for the Nationals next week. Jason Bergmann threw three innings for the GCL Nationals today, allowing two hits and two walks, no runs whils striking out four. Micah Bowie is starting for Columbus Friday. John Patterson says he'll pitch again this year.

These guys are not going to have a nine-man rotation. So something's gotta give. "It's a problem," GM Jim Bowden said the other day. "But it's a good problem to have."

The decisions on who stays and who goes haven't been made yet. It'll depend some on how these guys pitch over the next two weeks. But let's look at some post all-star break stats from the current members of the rotation:

Mike Bacsik: 5 GS, 31-1/3 IP, 3-0, 3.16 ERA, 6 BB, 14 K
Matt Chico: 5 GS, 26-2/3 IP, 1-1, 6.08 ERA, 15 BB, 16 K
Joel Hanrahan: 2 GS, 11 IP, 1-0, 3.27 ERA, 4 BB, 10 K
John Lannan: 3 GS, 17 IP, 1-0, 3.71 ERA, 9 BB, 4 K
Tim Redding: 4 GS, 26 IP, 0-1, 1.73 ERA, 11 BB, 19 K

It's clear, then, that Matt Chico has been the least effective of anyone in the rotation (throw in seven homers in those 26-2/3 innings, too). He's the only guy on this team who has not missed a turn in the rotation, the kid who made the jump from Class AA and was asked to take his lumps at the major league level this year.

When Hill comes back, do you send him down? How do you solve this problem?

I'll get you lineups from AT&T Park - and let you know whether Bonds is definitely in there - as soon as I get them. Until then, discuss.

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 8, 2007; 2:52 PM ET
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