The days of the Spring Training Battle Watch are growing short, my friends. I know, your collective hearts are breaking. Yesterday, the Cubs put the wood to one of the best starting pitchers in the National League, Dan Haren. It would be nice if it were real. On to the battles…
- Tom Gorzelanny probably just locked up a rotation spot with a six inning, two earned run, five hit, one walk, four strikeout performance. He did it against a lineup full of mostly regulars, too. Has Gorzelanny outpitched Sean Marshall this Spring? Absolutely not. But he’s pitched well enough to win a rotation spot, and Sean Marshall is a guy that Lou Piniella has confidence in coming out of the pen. You can expect an announcement of Gorzelanny and Silva as the back two starters some time today.
- James Russell, once again, threw a scoreless inning of relief. As for scoreless appearances, that makes, um, all of them. Russell’s Spring has been as good as it gets, and I’m sure it would kill Piniella not to be able to carry Russell. One option would be to send Jeff Samardzija to AAA Iowa to start, which would open up an additional bullpen spot. There would still be the issue of having three lefties in the pen, but with seven total relievers, the Cubs could probably manage it.
- Sam Fuld had a single in four at bats, while Tyler Colvin had a single, a double, and two RBI in four at bats. The decision between those two should be made soon, and will be an interesting one. Fuld brings better defense and more speed off the bench, but Colvin probably has the better bat. But there remains the issue of whether the Cubs would like to see Colvin start regularly – which would take him to the minors. Neither choice would surprise me, which is saying a lot, given that just a few weeks ago, very few would have thought Colvin had a real shot.