Some Friday morning fodder for discussion:
I thought it might be interesting, before Spring Training starts, to discuss who you think should round out the Cubs’ rotation, and what should become of those who don’t make the cut. We’ve not even seen them pitch in Spring Training games, so the discussion is entirely academic – in other words, it assumes that you have to make the decision now, without knowing how well the pitchers are throwing the ball right now. Obviously, once the games get under way, we’ll have a fair bit more data to enter into our mental computers.
But, until then, who you got? We know that Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, and Paul Maholm are locked into the top three slots, and we know that the primary names competing for the other spots are Randy Wells, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, Jeff Samardzija, Andy Sonnanstine, Casey Coleman, and Rodrigo Lopez.
For me, knowing nothing else, I’d give the last two spots to Volstad and Wood. While I think Randy Wells has done nothing to deserve booting from the rotation, given what the Cubs’ 2012 is likely to look like, I’d rather see the Cubs give the two younger pitchers, with more upside, a free chance to see what they can do. Wells can either head to AAA to serve as depth, the bullpen to serve as a long-man, or the trade block. It’s not an easy decision.
As for the rest, Samardzija can continue to improve as a late-inning reliever, Sonnanstine can either head to AAA or be the long-man in the pen, and Coleman and Lopez can head to AAA (break glass in case of emergency).
How about you? Thoughts?