All hail the parlor tricks brought to the young season by Jeff Fassero. He has helped the bullpen as a long man, and has helped the team in the late innings. He has been a positive for this team, and a pleasant surprise.
There needs to be a different contingency plan for a non-emergency rotation spot. If Kirk Rueter eats some clams he finds under the front seat of his car and falls ill a couple of hours before he's scheduled to start, then it's a good thing to have the grizzled Fassero around. This last situation wasn't like that, though. There was time to get someone up on the Fresno express before Fassero had to make another start, and time to knock pitchers off their normal rotation in order to rest them for a major league start. The depth chart, as it should look:
1st line of defense: Hennessey
The Giants are hamstrung a little by the lack of wiggle room on the 40-man roster. Note this isn't to imply Cain is ready to hold down a regular major league rotation spot, just that he would be a good candidate for an emergency start. He's not on the 40-man roster, though, and it would take a little juggling to get him up. A couple of starters on the 40-man roster, but nowhere near ready to start a major league game, are Brian Burres and Alfredo Simon. That's fine, as the Giants were obviously concerned about losing both in the Rule 5 draft, but at some point Cain is going to have to come on the roster. Not to pick on the poor guy, but the obvious candidate to be bumped from the 40-man is Al Levine. With Scott Munter and Jeremy Accardo up, Felipe Alou really can't afford to have three pitchers he wouldn't trust in the ninth inning of a tie game.
The 40-man roster concerns are academic at this point, as there was time to skip Foppert's AAA start and get him to Houston, and no need to summon Cain. This wouldn't have made a difference last night either, as the Giants hit as if it were 1986 and they were in the Astrodome facing Mike Scott. It's fun to think about, though. What is the depth chart you would submit to Brian Sabean?