Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Rich Harden, on the shelf for a couple of weeks with an ailing back, will make a rehab start for AAA Iowa today. If all goes well, the Cubs could see him back as soon as later this week.
Throughout his rehab, Harden has said he feels good, and it could only help to have rested his torn shoulder (yes, he still has a tear up there, in case you forgot). Of course, having a healthy and rest Harden late in the season only matters if there’s something to play for later in the season.
UPDATE: Well, so much for that. Harden was scratched from his start today with a stomach bug. He’ll try to go again tomorrow. That makes it highly unlikely he will be back in the rotation this week – his anticipated return was this Friday against the Minnesota Twins. Maybe he’ll be able to go on Saturday.
When he does come back, the Cubs will have two difficult decisions to make – though one has already been made. Whom to bump from the rotation would be that latter, already-made decision: lefty Sean Marshall will go to the bullpen, and new comer Randy Wells will remain in the rotation. We’ll see how he does now that he’s no longer fighting for a spot. Oh, and once the league starts to get tape on him.
The second decision will come in the form of a roster move – who goes out once Harden comes back? With Marshall headed to the bullpen, the easy money is on recent lefty call-up – and little used guy – Jason Waddell.