By this time in spring training, the number of jobs available on a 25-man roster are limited - and everyone competing for those spots knows it.
The Seattle Mariners are talking about taking a seven-man bullpen into the 2010 season, and if they do, a couple of newcomers are favorites to join that group. Kaneko Texeira is one, a guy with a plus-fastball who's had a great spring.
Another is Jesus Colome, a veteran or journeyman right-hander, depending upon your point of view. At 32, he's been in the big leagues for parts of eight seasons with three clubs and appeared in 329 games. He's had great streaks and bad runs, and he came to Seattle on a minor league deal.
"He's got a plus-changeup, a good slider and a fastball that we haven't seen at its best just yet," pitching coach Rick Adair said. "Jesus has made some adjustments, and he's one of those guys who gets you pumped up to work with. He's just a great guy."
Colome says Adair watched him throw two bullpens, then approached him about a few changes in his delivery.
"Some coaches, they tell you something and in a week you forget it and they forget it," Colome said. "Rick works with me every day - every day! - and I'm a much different pitcher than I was when I got here."
Will Colome make the 25-roster? He's a versatile pitcher, capable of working long and middle relief. If the Mariners have a 12-man staff, Colome could be the 12th man.
Whatever happens, he's a happier, more confident pitcher than the one the Mariners signed in February.
"I' ve got better command, better mechanics," Colome said. "I listened to Rick. He knows more than me. I feel lucky."
If Colome doesn't make the opening day roster, he'll likely start his season in Tacoma. The surprise would be if he finished it there.