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The news that both Andrew Cashner (semi-expected) and Randy Wells (completely blindsided) are going to the disabled list is still hanging over the Chicago Cubs like a cloud spitting out baby tears. Yesterday’s loss certainly didn’t help move the cloud along.

And the updates from yesterday do little to comfort.

The plan is to shut both down for 10 to 14 days, and re-evaluate their situation at that point. In other words, neither will pick up a baseball for some two weeks, and we won’t even know how long they’ll be out until that point. It seems unthinkable that either could slot right back into the rotation at that point – a throwing program, even a short one, and perhaps a rehab start or two, will be required.

So, if all goes according to plan, we’re looking at a month without Wells and Cashner. But when does anything go according to plan for the Cubs? Ours is an existence to which “best case scenario” is a foreign concept.

Sigh.

There’s no doubt that writing about the Chicago Cubs brings me a great deal of joy. I like reading, thinking, and talking about the Cubs. And I already obsess about the team, so why not put that obsession to good use by providing news, rumors, analysis and doodles to you? It’s win-win. But the truth is, it can be very trying to write appropriately and usefully about a team when you’re a diehard fan of that team. So it is with the twin Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner injuries.

I want to bring you this kind of information in a timely, even-handed and valuable way, and offer you a tempered analysis of what it means for the Cubs. But the truth is, when this kind of thing happens, I just want to scream obscenities and punch a dolphin.

And post things like this (sort of NSFW language):

I know. I need to calm myself. I’m being very un-Dude.

The truth is, the injuries appear to be relatively minor (though even a “minor” arm injury after the FIRST start of the season is enough to get my stomach churning). This is no Adam Wainwright situation, and the Cubs have, frankly, been due for some injury issues. And at least the MRIs for both came back clean. No structural damage.

For now, Casey Coleman will come up from his non-stay at AAA Iowa to start on Sunday against the Brewers, and is now the de facto fourth starter (always a bummer when a guy who couldn’t make the team as theĀ fifth starter is now the fourth starter for a month or more). The fifth spot, when needed, is likely to be filled by a stretched-out James Russell. Thomas Diamond, who made some spot starts last year, is another possibility. Carlos Silva is not.

And that fifth spot, with consecutive Thursday off-days coming the next two weeks, the Cubs can push the fifth starter back a couple of extra days, and possibly clip one start off of his stay.

If Wells and Cashner are out for a month and a half, let’s say, that means each will miss about five or six starts. Wells has been incredibly durable over the past couple of years, so missing starts is a surprise on his front (but perhaps he was due?), but as for Cashner, he wasn’t going to be able to make 30 starts this year anyway. And while an April win counts as much in the standings as a September win, if these two absolutely had to miss time, wouldn’t you rather it was now than late in the season?

There. I’ve talked myself down. I feel a little better. How about you?

Now where’s that dolphin…

  • CubsFanatic

    And so begins the curse of Silva…..Just kidding. :P Just watching them is enough for me. Even if they never win a title in my life time, I’ll still cheer for them till the day I die. Injuries and all. (I’m 22.)

    • Jeff

      Nope, the curse of Silva would have been if he accepted assignment to Iowa. We would now be stuck with him as the 4th starter, instead he’s still unemployed, and last I heard, not drawing much interest, while Coleman and possibly Russell take spots that could have been his.

      • wax_eagle

        Yeah for seeing young guys get a chance to step up.

  • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

    Dolphin-puncher,

    So uh, I hear Maddux had been throwing a lot in spring training. You know, just helping out. Maybe he could uh… I mean, I know he’s retired and all but uh, you know.

    Give Maddux the start? He could get all crafty like the veteran in that baseball movie “rookie of the year.” Whattya think?

    No?

    Fine.

    How about a 3 man rotation? They can toughen up. CC Sabathia pitched like 10 complete games in one week a few years ago. Why not Z, right?

    Caleb

    • PFK

      The old Boston Braves did with a 2 man rotation. It was, “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.” Now its “D, Z and G and time to take a p**”

      • jstraw

        The “pray for rain” was because the guys in the rotation after them sucked…not because there were no guys.

    • Ace

      Dear Caleb –

      Three-man rotation. All three men are Greg Maddux.

      And Koyie Hill catches every game.

      Sincerely,
      Ace

      • http://karenscubsblog.blogspot.com/ Karen P

        Win. A post-season berth is guaranteed with Hill catching…

  • Cheryl

    Coleman makes sense. But neither Russell or Diamond do much to fill the bill. How about bringing in somebody totally unexpected? Maybe a starter from AA to get a taste of the Big Leagues. He’d be so totally unexpected that it would take a while to put together a boo on him. Someone who at least has three different pitches. It would be a total shock to bring in Simpson (Just idding). Whoever it is would have to have enough confidence that the Big Leagues wouldn’t rattle him. Could Marshall fill the bill temporarily? Or, would that destroy any semblance of a bullpen?

    • Bric

      Good thought but unfortunately the Cubs have no one even near ready to try a big leagus start in at any level (not even Coleman). You may as well send Quade out to throw a couple of innings of batting practice.
      This is where Ace and I have our fundamental differences about Hendry. Ace and Hendry both believe that quantity of decent young arms will yield one or two charms at little cost.
      I, on the other hand, would like just one or two two true nunber ones at all levels, and not worry about selling minor league tickets. My suggestion is trade now for somebody like Aaron Porada before the Padres call him up. Derek Holland might be an option too, but the Rangers are playing too well now to want to shake anything up.

      • Cheryl

        Poraado sounds like a good possibility. Any chance?

        • Ace

          The last team in baseball that is going to trade young, ML-ready pitching talent is the Padres.

          Just always think to yourself: all the reasons you want him are all the reasons they don’t want to trade him. 95% of the time, it’s true. That rare 5% is where trades happen.

          • Cheryl

            I’m curious. What do the Padres need? What do they want?

            • wax_eagle

              Bats, no one the cubs have.

      • Raymond Robert Koenig

        I expect Coleman to pitch as well as Cashner would have. Note that I wrote “expect”. If we’re all honest with ourselves, what we expected from Cashner and what we hoped for are not the same. So the issue really is replacing Wells’ probable production. Easier said than done.

        • Ace

          Wells has been the Cubs’ best pitcher behind Dempster for two years now. You are quite right: he’ll be very hard to replace.

      • Ace

        Quantity works, but it works (a) if you have time to see which of the many can hack it, or (b) if you bundle a bunch of the quantity for an established pitcher.

        The Cubs can afford to do neither right now.

  • http://bleachernation ramy16

    hey ace…i see luis castillo was released by th phillies…any chance the cubs could pick him up?

    • Ace

      No chance. I think they’re happy with the 2B situation for now.

  • Cheryl

    Okay. No trade possibilities. Coleman is set. Any free agents (and I don’t mean Silva) that may be possibilities for the interim?

    • Ace

      I haven’t come up with anyone, and the Cubs probably won’t seriously consider adding anyone unless they learn that Wells and Cashner both will be out for a very long time (or if another starter goes down).

      • Bric

        Well, here’s one more to try out: Darwin Barney for Aaron Laffey. The Mariners are having serious 2nd base issues and Barneys from that area. It fits- we have alot of young infielders and they have alot of young pitching. Thoughts? (Also, tell me again why the f Hendry traded Gorz?)

  • Fella

    I still feel like screaming obscenities and punching dolphins.

    • Ace

      DolphinS, plural? That’s just sick.

      • http://SOI veryzer

        I feel like flogging the dolphin, which I am right now.

        • Ace

          I have that effect on people.

  • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian James

    Hahahaha!
    Thanks for the laugh and perspective, Ace.
    I felt better there for about 27 seconds….

    • Ace

      That’s what I’m here for. By September, we’ll have you up to an even 30 seconds.

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