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In a way, it was good that the Cubs were facing a guy who always dominates them last night in Brett Myers. They were indeed dominated, but even if they’d had a solid offensive performance, they would have lost anyway. So why waste the good offense, right? Boom – bright sided!

  • But it ain’t all sunshine and roses. The early possibility to get the next fifth starter’s spot start in the cavalcade of disasters? Jeff Samardzija. Of his performance – wherein he threw three innings and gave up three hits, a walk, and two earned runs – Mike Quade was effusive in his praise: “I thought (Samardzija) threw as well as we’ve seen. We needed those innings badly. I tip my hat to him.” Be afraid. Be very afraid.
  • Not filling in as the fifth starter? Newly-signed Doug Davis, whom GM Jim Hendry does not expect to be ML-ready until the end of May.
  • The Cubs are starting to give serious thought to Darwin Barney as the full-time starter at second base, despite Jeff Baker’s dominance of lefties, and overall hot start. ‘‘It’s just a brief snapshot,’’ said Quade, who admitted envisioning [Castro and Barney starting full-time up the middle] watching the big tandem game by the pair Monday. ‘‘There’s a lot of baseball to play. But both of them are off to really good starts. They play with enthusiasm. Both of them are getting smarter every day. They fit real well together.’’ Barney, for all his defensive prowess, has a career .708 OPS. In the minor leagues.
  • 2010 first round pick Hayden Simpson wasn’t quite as good in his second start of the season, giving up five runs (three earned) in five innings last night. His fastball, which the Cubs bought at 95-96 mph, was sitting at just 91-92. Hopefully it’s just a matter of him having not pitched in games for so long, and it being April.

 

  • pfk

    Well, this is sure an exciting and uplifting report. However, I have a sense changes are coming for the better. I just want to be in position to have an interesting and productive trade deadline and great offseason as we get ready for 2012. Better days are coming Cub fans. Hang in there.

  • Scarey

    I don’t see anything in here that would suggest Samardzija is up for the 5th spot in the rotation. They’ve told him from the start that he’ll only pitch out of the bullpen. I don’t know that we should be jumping to conclusions until anyone contradicts that.

    • Ace

      Other than the fact that Rogers suggests it?

      • Scarey

        I guess speculation from Rogers is something…

  • Willis

    This is what I predicted and feared last night. Still, it goes back to the point that this upside down shit hole of an organization doesn’t have an arm anywhere that they can plug in for 4-5 decent innings, instead of every 5th day being a throwaway Lou Piniella game.

    • Scarey

      Well, they did have a fall back option entering the season. Jay Jackson. Unfortunately he’s hurt too. Their second option was Coleman… who’s taking the spot of one of the injured pitchers. Third option is Thomas Diamond. I guess he could make a start… except he gave up 9 earned runs last night in AAA. After that, there’s plenty of organizational filler. It gets tricky when you have to add guys to the 40 man roster.

      It’s really hard to plan for two starting pitchers going down in your rotation after the first time through.

      • wax_eagle

        Agreed. Not many teams go 7+ deep at starting pitcher with ML quality arms. The Braves are one of the only teams I can think of that have quality pitching in bunches like that. You can plan for 1 starter to go down, but having 2 go down at once like that is pretty difficult to plan for.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/sperls13 Sperls13

    What the hell is the point of signing Doug Davis and/or Ramon Ortiz to minor league deals if they won’t be ready until June? Does that mean both Wells & Cashner’s injuries are far worse than Hendry is letting on?

    • wax_eagle

      No, it means that if Demp, Z or Garza goes down they have someone to come eat innings later in the season. While these guys are starters, they aren’t quick fixes.

      • Ace

        Yeah, it’s just emergency depth.

  • JR

    I agree with Quade’s assessment that last night’s game was one that the Cubs just had to get through, and they did. Quade’s praise for Samardzija I assumed was aimed at bolstering his confidence and not genuine. I mean, Quade lacks the ability to think before he speaks (like, why demoralize a red-hot Jeff Baker even if you are considering Darwin Barney as a long term option?) but he’s not struck me as out of touch with reality.

    Pitchers go down all the time and while Hendry figures out which other pitcher to bring up or in, the position players need to take it on themselves to score more runs and cut down on mistakes, like the ones that would get players benched on my high school team: missing signs, executing rundowns, etc.

    One of the things I’d hoped Quade would bring is a focus on defense and other fundamentals given his time in the minor leagues. Given the game sense of some of our recent minor league graduates, like Theriot, this was probably foolhardy). Still, I was hopeful and have been very disappointed that the sloppy play continues and not just from those who consider themselves above trying (like Ramirez and Soriano) but from the players who actually appear to be trying.

    As to the substitute 5th starter, I figured they were giving Russell the chance to prove he had the stuff and poise over 3-4 innings to merit a second shot. After all, he was touted as a potential starter in camp. That seemed fair to me, he didn’t show much and now they’ll have to evaluate plans B-Z and it looks like they are doing it. While these situations suck in the short term, there’s always the possibility we’ll find another Randy Wells.

  • Mike

    Anybody remember when Marshell was a quality starter? I know we want a solid bullpen but if we have to use them everyday…..why not convert him back. I think that this would solve several problem. He ate up plenty of innings.

  • Mike

    Marshall……sorry……

  • pfk

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