In case anyone had illusions of the Cubs going back to 11 pitchers as they did a few years ago, Lou Piniella has put that to rest:

Talked with Lou later in the day. He said the Cubs probably will go with 12 pitchers and 13 position players again this year.

“With our pitching, it seems to me like we’ve got to carry 12 pitchers,” Lou said. “I don’t see how we can get by with 11, I really don’t.”

I gotta agree with Lou on that one, and that’s regardless of whether or not the Cubs land Jake Peavy.

Lou said that he’d be happy with a rotation of ace Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Rich Harden and Sean Marshall. However, Harden’s shoulder still figures to be an issue, and the Cubs want to use Marshall as a swing man.

“This is why it’s important we develop a sixth pitcher,” Lou said, talking about perhaps Jeff Samardzija, Chad Gaudin or minor-league prospect Mitch Atkins. “Last year, we had a real nice situation with the five that we had and Marshall. We had our sixth starting pitcher right there with us. But that’s not going to be the case now. We’ve got to develop a sixth pitcher in the spring. I don’t know who that will be.” DailyHerald.com Blogs.

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