This is NOT an unpopular opinion: Linda Borgeson is one of the worst actresses ever cast in a major soap role. What did TPTB see in her auditions that she couldn't project in her actual scenes?
Replacing George Reinholt was more difficult than might have been expected. There aren't that many actors who have the dark, brooding, romantic quality that Reinholt had.
I would have been happy with Rachel and Mitch as a couple. Espy had good chemistry with actresses as different as Trish Stewart and Victoria Wyndham, or would Trish Stewart and Linda Dano be an even greater contrast?
It's needed asking him He is available on Facebook.
It seems to me that even the idea of reuniting the classic SB cast for a mini-series is not so crazy. Just need to hurry while most of them are alive. I see the problem only in the copyright holders. I mean, who holds the rights to the names and characters? NBC? Disney? Or is it not a problem at all to shoot several episodes with the SB characters no asking copyright?