As expected, the addition of Matt Garza has thrown the expected Chicago Cubs’ rotation into a bit of a tizzy. We know that the front three will be some combination of Garza, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster, but after that, all bets are off. Tom Gorzelanny, Randy Wells, Carlos Silva, Andrew Cashner, Jeff Samardzija, and Casey Coleman (at least – there are a couple youngsters you could arguably throw in) are six guys for two spots. That means that some will end up in the bullpen, some will end up in the minors, and some will end up on other teams.

To that end, Bruce Levine offered a number of rumors and thoughts on the rotation in his weekly chat:

  • TheĀ consensusĀ is that Cashner will be a starter in Spring Training, with a very real shot of earning one of the back two rotation spots.
  • The Cubs are still hearing from teams on Gorzelanny, as many as five, including the Orioles and Tigers. I also have it on good authority that the Rangers are still interested in Gorzelanny. My thought? Don’t expect to see Gorzelanny with the Cubs in 2011.
  • Levine guesses that the fourth and fifth starters will be Cashner and Samardzija, but he bases this conclusion primarily on the fact that Samardzija is out of options, and Randy Wells – the 22nd most valuable starting pitcher in the NL last year – is not. Can you really see Wells being sent down to AAA next year? I can’t, and the Cubs would be very, very mistaken to do so. At worst, Wells should be in the bullpen. At worst.
  • Carlos Silva will get a shot to remain in the rotation, but only if he shows up to Spring Training in good shape (which was a problem last year; though, he pitched so well to start the year, I’d have to openly wonder: maybe he pitches better when he’s out of shape…).
  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Wells should be in the rotation. Let the rest of rest of the potential starters compete for the 5th spot.

  • Fella

    I agree, this Wells not being in the rotation stuff is ridiculous. Hopefully Quade and Hendry are smarter than that. Of course is Shark does get a rotation spot he will get rocked and Wells will get it back soon enough.

  • DaveB

    I don’t see how Levine could even consider Wells in that 4th spot of the rotation (obviously barring injury/spring training meltdown). Theres no way in fuckin hell that the likes of Shark, Silva, or even Cashner could be considered for the rotation in front of Wells. Wells has 2 seasons in the Cubs rotation under his belt, and now will be his 3rd, so he will be adding to an experienced rotation.
    I like Cashner in that 5th spot, its definitely his to win. If Silva pitches in Spring Training the way he did last season though, I think that Silva will atleast start the season in the rotation (until some fatass-related injury happens, and then Cashner can be brought up)

    And speaking of Shark, hes probably starting to regret not going into the NFL right about now…

    • DaveB

      *Meant to say ‘I dont see how Levine could even consider Wells NOT being in that 4th spot of the rotation*, sorry for the typo

    • Jeff

      If Shark isn’t good enough to make the rotation or bullpen this spring it’s probably time to cut ties anyway, regardless of his options. If he get’s cut out of spring training, there’s still time for him to get back into football shape for next season, because I think it might be time for him to quit his day job.

  • Willis

    Jesus if Shark gets a rotation spot this team is doomed from the jump. I like Levine, but I don’t know how the hell he draws a conclusion of Shark getting in the rotation over Wells.

  • Mike S

    Dempster, Garza, Zambrano, Wells, Gorzaleanny…Keep Cashner in the bullpen

  • Patric H

    Just caught this… Reed Johnson signed to a minor league deal. Can’t help but feel a little nostalgia there, but the OF is starting to look more crowded…

  • Serio

    Reed Johnson. Fernando Perez. By By Fuku

  • Philoe Beddoe

    in the last three Baseball Pospectus editions they are pretty positive about Perez…remember he had Crawford, Upton, in front of him..”would beranked higher in different organizations”….he could be a decent pick-up

    I see the Mets are trying to dump Luis Castillo…am I the only one who would be more excited about having him at 2B than Blake DeWitt…how about Silva(who I believe the Cubs owe 6 mil) to the Mets for Castillo who makes 6 mil…then DeWitt plays third for the stadard 30-40 games that Aramis will miss…

    • Serio

      LOVE IT Philoe. Silva’s a big pile of dump & i would rather have Castillo at 2B. Come to think of it you should run for Cubs GM

  • Tex

    Luis Castillo???? No thanks! What is all this hate about Blake DeWitt?? He is a solid ballplayer! The Dodgers hated to give him up and he won’t hurt a team.

    • Philoe Beddoe

      the Dodgers made the comment that they were getting a “true middle infielder” when they got Theriot for DeWitt..he is more of a 3B…I will trust the Dodgers judement on that one….

      Luis Castillo is way past is prime..but I am just saying…garbage for garbage….also apparently Silva is a cancer in the clubhouse

  • Mike S

    Blake DeWitt is still only 25. He has under performed the last couple years having only a .360 OBP and a .260 avg. Even if he continues to struggle, he will be a decent transition player until DJ or Thomas comes up and takes over (now that we gave away Hak-Ju Lee).