With only a week remaining in spring training play, Lou Piniella on Friday announced his pitching staff for opening day. Going into camp their were two spots open in the rotation, and four guys were trying to win one of those spots. And for the bullpen, it was sort of an open competition between the young guys to see who could impress the coaches more. Nonetheless, we finally have the rotation and bullpen slots filled out.
1. Carlos Zambrano
2. Ryan Dempster
3. Randy Wells
4. Carlos Silva
5. Tom Gorzelanny
I can’t say I would argue with Lou Piniella’s choice for the 4th and 5th starter. Silva, has looked really good this spring ever since the Cubs tweaked his rotation. And Gorzelanny, also has put up impressive numbers in Spring.
CL- Carlos Marmol
Set Up Man- Esmailin Caridad
Set Up Man- John Grabow
Middle Reliever- Justin Berg
LHP- James Russell
RHP- Jeff Samardzija
LHP- Sean Marshall
On paper, that bullpen really does scare me. Mainly, because you have 3 unproven rookies in Berg, Russell, and Caridad. And Carlos Marmol has looked anything but dependable during spring training. So I would not be too optimistic about the how well the Cubs bullpen can succeed.
However, things could all change if the Cubs are able to trade for a veteran reliever in the next couple of weeks. And to no surprise to anyone who has been following this site, or any other rumor source for the Cubs, the Cubs are still interested in Jason Frasor of the Blue Jays. But, the Cubs reportedly balked at the asking price of Andrew Cashner.
Other Notes from Spring…
- Lou Piniella will announce his bench on March 31st. The biggest competition to watch is the one between Kevin Millar and Chad Tracy for that left handed power spot off the bench. Their is a chance that both could make the roster, but that seems unlikely as of right now. It also appears that Mike Fontenot will indeed be the primary backup at Short.
- The Cubs announced a 7 player roster cut today, that reduced to their roster size down to 33*. Among the players who were cut was Jeff Gray, who was acquired by the Cubs in a trade that sent Jake Fox to Oakland. Gray, was six weeks behind schedule after dealing with a groin injury that sidelined him for most of spring training.
* Includes Ted Lilly, and Angel Guzman both of whom will start the year on the Disabled List.