Thursday Morning Starters, Including Cashner's Progress

This is an important week for the Chicago Cubs. All of general manager Jim Hendry’s assistants and scouts are in town to discuss the Cubs strategy for the deadline. Among them are special assistants to Hendry Gary Hughes and Greg Maddux, and assistant general manager Randy Bush. Hendry addressed the deadline yesterday in his session with the media, though, he did not particularly share any details that were not already known. We go in more detail on that subject after the jump, and also give an update on Andrew Cashner as part of the Thursday Morning starters.

Sahadev Sharma of ESPN Chicago reports that the Cubs will not trade any of their core players, using quotes from Hendry as a reference.  While I certainly applaud Hendry for saying all of the right things, there was one area that I took issue with. Hendry was emphatic that there would be no fire sale this season. Though, I do not recall anyone calling for a fire sale. The core players on this team are Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Matt Garza, Sean Marshall, Carlos Marmol, and Brett Jackson. Those are players that the Cubs will have to build around in order to contend in 2012. Trading players like Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, Aramis Ramirez, or Kosuke Fukudome would not be considered as a fire sale. All of those players do not figure into the long-term future of this team, which makes them all expendable. Hopefully, Hendry realizes that.

Hendry is confident that injured starting pitcher Andrew Cashner will return this season, though, there is no timetable set for his return. Cashner will be re-evaluated on Thursday and if all checks out, the injured pitcher will be able to begin a throwing program on Friday. Going off of Cashner’s last rehab, he is about a month away from being ready. Putting a possible return around late July. However, the Cubs are likely to be extra cautious with Cashner, meaning it might not be until August when we see the second year pitcher  return.

Despite Ryan Dempster having only thrown 83 pitches in the game, manager Mike Quadepulled Dempster in the ninth inning after the Cubs starter gave up a lead-off double to Pat Burrell. Though in fairness to Dempster, if center-fielder Tony Campana would have took a better route to the ball, Burrell–who may be the slowest player in the majors–would have been held to single. Closer Carlos Marmol came into the game and blew the save and the victory for Dempster. Looking back at it, the hindsight is 50/50 seeing as the Cubs won the game in the bottom of the ninth. But, I would have left Dempster in the game to give him a chance to finish what he started.

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Tags: Alfonso Soriano Andrew Cashner Aramis Ramirez Carlos Marmol Carlos Zambrano Chicago Cubs Darwin Barney Gary Hughes Greg Maddux Jim Hendry Kosuke Fukudome Matt Garza Pat Burrell Randy Bush Ryan Dempster Sean Marshall Starlin Castro

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