There was no doubt the Cubs needed another lefty in the pen, and clearly they didn’t think B.J. Ryan was the answer (he’s only been hitting 87 on the radar gun in his minor league rehab appearances). Hence the move to acquire John Grabow from the Pirates. Somewhat surprisingly, the Cubs took on a second lefty in the trade, Tom Gorzelanny, a guy who at one point looked well on his way to becoming an established major league starter, but lost it somewhere, and has spent the last year bouncing back and forth between AAA.
Grabow steps right into the pen as the second lefty alongside Sean Marshall. As for Gorzelanny…the former 14-game winner, who, as I said, has pitched in the minors as much as the majors since the first half of last season, is a candidate to take over the starting spot once occupied by Kevin Hart, who was sent to Pittsburgh in the trade (along with Jose Ascanio and Josh Harrison). Or I suppose the Cubs could move Marshall back into the rotation temporarily. Either way, the move would be just that – temporary. Ted Lilly‘s return in a couple of weeks would shift either Marshall or Gorzelanny or whoever back into the pen.
The key guy though is Grabow. Lou Piniella now has multiple lefty options out of the pen, the chance to work late match-ups and all that other fancy managing stuff. Grabow and Gorzelanny should both be grateful to have been rescued from the soul-crushing dungeon that is the Pirates organization.