Season Preview: Starting Rotation


After looking at the lineup this week, another important aspect of any team is the starting rotation. The Cubs have an excess of starting pitching and with Travis Wood and Randy Wells getting sent to the minors, the rotation looks like this:

1. Ryan Dempster

2. Matt Garza

3. Jeff Samardzija

4. Chris Volstad

5. Paul Maholm

Ryan Dempster struggled last season, but has established himself as a reliable #2 pitcher. He had a decent year if you remove an awful pitching slump in the beginning of the season. He pitched better at the end of the year and he should be able to carry a good second half and a good spring into 2012. Manager, Dale Sveum, gave him the nod on opening day over Matt Garza. I think Dempster will thrive in the new Cubs Way and he will return to be a reliable #2 starter.

Matt Garza has been in trade rumor after trade rumor. He is an excellent pitcher and it doesn’t make much sense for a rebuilding tram to trade a young ace. Even though he is not starting opening day, he is an ace. Garza looks to build off of an excellent 2011 campaign and a great spring. I think he will continue to improve and possibly contend for a Cy Young if the Cubs can get him enough wins.

Jeff Samardzija had an excellent spring. He has been a good pitcher since coming up and had a great 2012 campaign, with the exception of a few outings where he had control issues. This is his first time getting a real chance, but he has shown every sign of being ready for this season.

Chris Volstad has always had promise as a pitcher, but has never been able to put it all together. He has gotten a change of scenery and has an excellent opportunity to turn his young career around. He has the stuff to be successful, but he needs to learn how to use it better. I think Volstad can be a #2 pitcher if he gets it together.

Paul Maholm had a great year last year with the Pirates and I am surprised that he signed such a low dollar contract. This could be the best #5 pitcher in the National League. He has the stuff to be a #3 starter and could prove to be an x-factor in the Cubs’ season.

The Cubs had an awful rotation last year, ranking last in the National League. This year, I think the Cubs can rank 1st. The Cubs have the deepest rotation in the division and maybe in the Majors. This has not been observed by the mainstream, but I really think this rotation will shock a lot of people.