It’s Friday the 13th, and the Chicago Cubs are expected to lick their Red-and-Cardinal-induced wounds against a team that leads the NL West and has won six in a row. That’s terrifying.

  • Also terrifying? I hope this is just Bruce Levine shooting from the hip, but, in a short article mentioning Randy Wells going out on a rehab stint next week, Levine drops this bombshell: “[When he returns to the Cubs, Andrew] Cashner may be either a starter or return to the bullpen, where he was a successful set-up man toward the end of 2010.” Sweet baby Jesus no. Unless there is a *physical* reason that Cashner *cannot* be a starter, the idea that the Cubs would convert him from a reliever to a starter after they drafted him, and then back to a reliever last year, and then back to a starter this year, only to convert him BACK to a reliever AGAIN this year is too shocking for me to consider. He’s shown that he can be an effective starter, where his ceiling is far, far higher than as a reliever. Please, Cubs. Don’t screw this up.
  • More terrification: Brett Jackson, the Cubs’ top prospect, jacked up his left pinkie on Wednesday, and has seen the Cubs’ hand specialist to work things out. He’s been placed on the disabled list by his AA squad, and, although it’s just a pinkie, you don’t want to mess with a dude’s hand. The Cubs have said the finger isn’t broken, so it’s got to be some kind of strain/sprain. Which might be worse.
  • I know it was two days ago, but Jeff Samardzija’s scoreless inning streak officially ended at 15 on Wednesday. As reader TWC likes to say, Orel Hershiser can rest easy.
  • This is not a joke: body language experts analyze The Hug. Again: not a joke.
  • Jeff

    The thought that they would be contemplating moving Cashner again so soon baffles me as a baseball fan. But as a Cubs fan it gives me a sense of deja vu. Didn’t this just happen to Samardzija? Look how messed up he was after starting out strong as a reliever. The continued mishandling of young players by this organization amazes me. What amazes me more is that the current management/ownership group doesn’t see it as a problem.

    • wax_eagle

      Unless they have decided that his body can’t handle starting, there is no good reason to move him back to the pen. However, its the Cubs.

  • jh

    Sounds like we may have the next Joba Chamberlain. Hey that makes us kind of like the Yankees right?!?

  • awesome

    top notch starter back to the pen? hmmm. guess that means jeff goes back to starting, hmmm.

  • Michigan Goat

    So this makes even less sense because WE DO NOT HAVE A FIFTH STARTER or even a fourth…. I swear if Doug Davis is amazing it still doesn’t make sense. If Cashners arm can’t handle starting I’d rather but him on an extended DL stint so he can focus and if something extreme like surgery is needed do it now, if he returns and jacks up his arm and needs Tommy John on something else extreme and we waited ill be furious with this team. Think about 2012/2013 not this year.

  • Terry

    The Cubs organization conyinues to mishandle young players over and over. They either mishandle them ot trade them away for over the hill has beens.

  • Bric

    Again I’m probably the lone voice in the wilderness but the Cashner move to the bullpen makes perfect sense. Back in Feb. I questioned why everyone was so quick to hand him the fifth starter job when it clearly belonged to Gorz and it was setting him up to fail.

    Just forget about the Cardinals and Reds pitching for a second and look at the other quality pitching staffs around the league. They all have starters that throw 4 or 5 reliable pitches a piece, have learned how to work a count, when to induce a hit (beit grounder or fly), and how to make it through six innings intact. Cashner has not shown any of this in a real game let alone in ST. The right move was to put him back in the pen for a couple of months and see what happens. But the court of public opinion spoke, and Quade listened. Big mistake.

    And Ace, I understand he has a high ceiling, but in my mind (and the stat book) he’s still basically an unproven rookie. In the books he has one pretty good start followed by a month long rehab. If that’s what you consider success enough to put him right back in the rotation, we may as well’ve hung onto Rich Harden.

    Like I said- the lone voice in the wilderness.

    • Cheryl

      I agree with Bric. If his arm can’t handle the long starting assignments it’s best to put him in relief. Also, if there is something basically wrong with his arm get it taken care of now. Don’t wreck him. Otherwise, he may be better off as a reliever.

      • Ace

        I don’t think anyone would disagree that, if he *can’t* handle starting, then of course he should be in the pen.