With Andrew Cashner out for another two months, with Carlos Zambrano on the DL with a sore back, with Ryan Dempster missing a start with a sore back and stomach issues, with Kerry Wood battling control issues after just coming off the DL, with Marcos Mateo headed to the DL with an elbow issue, with Casey Coleman up, with Chris Carpenter down, with Ramon Ortiz coming up…

And on and on the initial clauses of that sentence go. I couldn’t even tell you what the conclusion is, and, right now, neither can the Cubs.

The Cubs already had called up Casey Coleman from Class AAA Iowa to make an emergency start while they monitored Ryan Dempster’s suddenly cranky back, and another roster move was coming today to activate minor-league free agent Ramon Ortiz, 38, to start in place of ailing Carlos Zambrano.

But now it looks as though multiple moves might be required, with Mateo heading back to Chicago for an MRI exam — and to the disabled list — five days after pitching a season-high five innings (56 pitches) without allowing a run Thursday against the San Francisco Giants.

Cubs officials were preparing to huddle late Monday to determine whether they would need more bullpen help today. That probably would come in the form of Chris Carpenter, the guy they demoted to make room for Coleman. He would be eligible to be recalled so quickly because of Mateo’s injury.

And after Coleman’s 51/3 serviceable innings, the Cubs also must decide whether he will stay in the majors for another start before the All-Star break or will head back to Iowa. How Dempster’s back fares is another factor in the mix-and-match, patchwork process. Chicago Sun-Times.

The simplest move would be to place Mateo on the DL and activate Ortiz. If the Cubs want to bring in another arm, they could place Ryan Dempster on the DL and recall Chris Carpenter. The Cubs could also send Coleman back out, adding Ortiz in his place, and then DL Mateo, adding Carpenter in his place.

For now, the biggest point of confusion comes from Ryan Dempster’s status. If the Cubs think he can return in a few days – and it sounds like they do – then they may just have to make due a pitcher short for those few days. If, on the other hand, Dempster is going to miss another start, they might as well DL him and bring up another arm.

  • Dave

    You know how in hockey you can pull the goalie to put an extra offensive player on the ice? Can’t the Cubs just put the ball on a tee and use a 4th outfielder?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Bunt to the vacated pitcher’s spot, every time. :)

  • CubFan Paul

    …If only the Cubs owner wasnt sooo cheap even at times like this (players dropping like flies) but after the week 1 injuries to the staff & Ricketts not supporting the team financially to help Hendry sign/trade for adequate Major League replacements we knew this day was coming ..not only is the team barely treading water to stay alive, so is Hendry (poor guy ..i can see him now ~hanging on to a life saver wearing little floaties on his arms)

    • Jelly

      The only sense in which this team could be considered “treading water” or “staying alive” is the sense in which they aren’t literally dead. I would see “treading water” as a phrase which refers to a team hovering around .500, not a team that’s 3rd worst in baseball and 16 games below-.500.

  • Mike

    Releasing Tom Gorzelanny makes a lot of sense right now. I didn’t understand it in the off season……and still don’t know. He wasn’t expensive. Maybe they can make up with Silva lol…..they still owe him 7.2 mil this year and 2 mil next year without stepping on the field.

    • Toosh

      Gorzelanny wasn’t released. He was traded.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        So far, considering the return, he might as well have been released.

  • Andy

    Gotta start giving guys like Struck a chance. This season is already wasted, might as well see if we have any talent in the minors (not holding my breath).

    • CubFan Paul

      we don’t have any talent in the minors. that’s why we’re double digit games under .500! The bottom lined worried owner &hamstrung GM were hoping the minor leaguers would help when injury struck &they have not ..james Russell is an adequate lefty reliever now but they ran him out there 6-7 times to start knowing he wasn’t ready. Campana can still bases but he can’t hit a ball out of the infield to bat higher than .250 ..trading Gorzelanny for kibbles and bits &releasing Silva seem stupid now but we’ve had position player injuries also with NO adequate backup/quality depth to fill in ..i hate the Blake Dewitt experiment ..if Hendry trades anyone at the deadline he better get more than what he got last summer (Dewitt) if he wants to keep his job

  • Toosh

    Excellent first sentence! Anybody else notice that the Cubs’ “prospects” are always “a couple of years away”? EVERY YEAR! This season they’re a couple of years away. Then the next season comes and they’re still a couple of years away. Ricketts needs to clean house. Get rid of everyone who helped acquire any of the “talent” in the minors.

  • Michigan Goat

    I think it time the media starts to question Riggins about all the pitching problems we’ve had this year. Yes injuries happen, gods wrath and all, but the general ineffectiveness of pitching this year must fall on pitching coach. Riggins has be invisible all year.

    • willis

      He’s been a dick all year long. Right out of the shoot two starters are injured, then Garza, then Z, now Demp, and it seems Mateo’s elbow just blew. The pure ineffectiveness overall is cause for a lot of concern, but add in all of these injuries (like you said, they happen) but at the alarming rate they are happening, something is wrong. Again, much like Quade, a monor league coach placed in a situation way over his head.

      I pray he is shown the door with Quade and Hendry sooner than later.

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

    As much as I hate them, it sure would suck to be a Cubs “official” right now…

    • jstraw

      Are you kidding me? We’re not out of this. We just need to string three wins in a row together and then print playoff tickets for Ricketts! Go CUBS!

      • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

        We just need to get a little bit more left-handed.

        • jstraw

          Jim Hendry is the left-handed master of his own domain.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I get jokes.

  • auggie1955

    Leave it to Hendry to mess everything up. He thought the Cubs were deep in pitching with Gorzelanny, Silva and Cashner battling for the 5th spot in the rotation, so he goes and trades Gorz. Then Silva loses his cool when told he won’t be starting and Hendry releases him. Then Cashner strains his rotator cuff after one start. Too bad Hendry couldn’t judge Silva’s dispostion and character and just release him and not trade Gorzelanny. Isn’t judging character part of the GM’S job?

    As far as those hoping Riggins will be fired midseason, you can just forget about that. Remember Wavin’ Wendell Kim? If any coach should have been fired midseason it was Kim in 2004. I never seen more runners thown out at the plate by 10 feet than in 2004. But Kim kept his job until 2005. The man who replaced him – Mike Quade. Thanks a lot.

  • Mike

    Dejesus sending Soto then a few days later sending Pena shows that they aren’t learning. Soto looked gassed rounding second.
    I say hand all of them their walking papers from Hendry on down. It’s like this team is an experiment that Quade is trying to do everything he’s always thought of as a base coach that wondered why no one else would do. Disasterous.

  • Brian

    This situation reminds me of the scene from the Big Lebowski, where John Goodman beats the tar out of a Corvette, except in this he’s screaming,
    “You see what happens, Jim?!?! Do you see what happens when you trade away your pitching depth and overspend on hacks?!? Because this is what happens when you trade away your pitching depth and overspend on hacks!!”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett