Time for the next installment of 2010 projections for the Chicago Cubs, this week the focus is on the starting rotation.
Carlos Zambrano appears to be a lot more determined this year, after coming off what could be considered his worst season in his career. He has lost about 20 pounds this off-season, and says that he is lot more mature then he was last year. The Cubs are depending on Zambrano to finally pitch like the “ace” of the staff, and if he does, he should be in line for a good season.
Cubbies Crib 2010 Projection: 17-10 with a 3.55 ERA
Ryan Dempster took a step backwards last year, in what was his second year starting for the Cubs. While he had a solid ERA of 3.65, he only had a record of 11-9. However, Dempster struggled with some off the field problems, as his newborn daughter was dealing with an illness, fortunately she is doing feeling well now. I don’t think Dempster will ever be as good as he was in 2008, but he could very well be a good #3 pitcher for the Cubs.
Cubbies Crib 2010 Projection: 14-11 with a 3.66 ERA
Randy Wells came out of nowhere for the Cubs last year, as he was called to the majors last May. And at first he was only considered to be a temporary fill-in for the Cubs, he impressed the Cubs so much that he remained in the rotation for the rest of the year, and posted a record of 12-10 with an ERA of 3.02. while I don’t think Wells is going to repeat those numbers, I think he could very well end up with 12-15 wins this year.
Cubbies Crib 2010 Projection: 13-13 with a 3.92 ERA.
Ted Lilly has without a doubt been the Cubs best pitcher the last three years. But, as we all know by now Lilly is expected to miss the first month of games for the Cubs. If he can come back in May, and then win 14-16 games from there out that should put the Cubs in a good position.
Cubbies Crib 2010 Projection: 15-8 with a 3.45 ERA.
This is likely going to be year that the Cubs find if their 5 year/ $10MM investment in Jeff Samardzija pays off. As it is likely that he will be the Cubs fifth starter. So far this spring, the Cubs have been impressed with how Samardzija has looked, saying that he finally has a mechanically sound delivery. The key to Samardzija’s success in 2010, is if he could develop an off-speed pitch, something he has been working on this off-season.
Cubbies Crib 2010 Projection- 10-12 with a 4.15 ERA.
* Not named in the report are Carlos Silva, Tom Gorzelanny, and Sean Marshall. As it is likely that they will see most of their time this year in the bullpen, and so they will be featured in the bullpen projections. It should also be noted that one of those three pitchers could be the fifth starter instead of Jeff Samardzija.