Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella is tasked with picking the number
five starter out of the Sean Marshall, Aaron Heilman, Chad Gaudin, and
Jeff Samardzija bin by the end of spring training. But for today, Lou says it’s
looking like Marshall at five and Samardzija at six.
This actually isn’t a big revelation, and I actually don’t think it
means what it sounds like. It sounds like Lou is saying Marshall is
the best of the four, and Samardzija is next. But actually, it’s
probably more of a reflection of Lou viewing Heilman and Gaudin as
more likely to fill out the bullpen than make the rotation. And unlike
those guys, Samardzija can be shuffled down to AAA Iowa to start.
So, yes, Samardzija is “sixth,” but that doesn’t make him any more
likely to make the big squad as “seventh” and “eighth” ranked guys,
Heilman and Gaudin.