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I just landed in Phoenix, hopped off the plane, and immediately hopped on here because I knew there was miscellany to recount. The Cubs beat the Rockies 10-8 today, but Jeff Samardzija – fresh off probably being handed a rotation spot – got slapped around in his four innings of work, giving up all but one of the Rockies’ runs on 10 hits (no walks, though). He struck out two. I’m going to say he was “working on stuff” and leave it at that.

Among the other notable bits…

  • Casey Coleman got three innings of work (which theoretically still lines him up to be the long man in the pen, but it’s more likely he’s ticketed to start the year in the front half of the Iowa rotation at AAA), giving up just one unearned run on two hits. He struck out two.
  • Manny Corpas, who’s as likely as any of the remaining right-handed relief options to make the pen, threw another scoreless (perfect) frame, striking out one.
  • It doesn’t matter if you give Joe Mather only one at bat. He will get a hit. And he did, a double.
  • Bryan LaHair went 3 for 3 with a double, and he’s suddenly hitting .256 on the Spring. His OPS remains terrible, but maybe he’s getting ready to turn it on for the season.
  • Steve Clevenger had a hit in his two at bats. Welington Castillo did not make an appearance. (Geovany Soto started and went deep twice.)
  • Ron

    I still think spell check is in the rotation, but about trading Wells…maybe they wait for q while.

  • Willis

    Starting Shark is a low risk-high reward option. But a risk none the less. So definitely keep Wells around if it blows up.

    • CubFan Paul

      Wells makes too much money to ‘keep around ($2.705M). He was beat out and should be traded to a team that needs a 5th starter (turn hendry’s short term assets into longterm assets)

      No team in the league keeps a $3M starter in the bullpen or AAA.

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        Your Crazy if you think we trade Wells. Wells will be in the rotation. Garza, Dempster, Maholm, Smarj, and Wells. If Demp is traded, Volstad will get his shot.

        • CubFan Paul

          The earliest Dempster will accept a trade (to a contender) is July. Why would Theo&Co choose Wells over Volstad?

          • Turn Two

            I’d go with Wells, they have very similar career marks. Wells pitched much better than Volstad last year after he had a little time to work out the kinks getting back from the injury. Volstad can work in the pen as we await an injury or trade that hopefully won’t come until we have had a chance to at least stabilize ourselves this year. I think people just want Volstad starting because he is a new face.

            • CubFan Paul

              Theo&Co want Volstad starting because he’s their new face who has also had a better spring than Wells ..combine that with the 25-30 scouts that were at Wells’ last start (a minor league game) he’s probably traded soon with a solid outing today

              • MichiganGoat

                I’d be hesitant to trade Wells until we see if Samardjiza can go 6-7 innings a d see starters 3-4 times. If Volstad and Samardijiza are the 4/5 pitchers (and it appears that is where it is going) then having Wells as the “6th” starter is a smart backup plan. Last year we loss two pitchers and had no replacement for either. Unless the return for Wells is huge it makes no sense to trade away a reliable 5th starter. Wait until we see is Shark and Volstad can cut it and if TWood is ready before trading away our backups. The FO has talked about the importance of being 7+ deep with starting pitchers, and keeping Wells is a part of that strategy.

                • CubFan Paul

                  MG its okay for you to be hesitant but we’re not the ones making the decision. And with the scouts stalking Wells’ every pitch now it would appear trade talks are happening

                  & we have depth without Wells – Coleman, Rusin, Jackson, & T.Wood are all ready to make the jump from AAA this year & that doesn’t include Lopez & sonnsatine

                  • King Jeff

                    Wells has looked pretty good in his “relief” appearances this season. I think he could have more value to this team as a long reliever/spot starter than he would bring back in trade.

                    That said, Wells would be the best candidate for a trade out of the starters right now. I don’t see Volstad being moved, Wood has been horrible this spring and his value never lower, Sonnanstine isn’t even rostered anymore, Lopez is still Lopez, and the triple A arms are not very highly regarded by anyone. Wells is really the only one that would bring back any kind of return, I just don’t think the Cubs would get enough for him.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “more value to this team as a long reliever/spot starter than he would bring back in trade”

                      not at $2.705M

              • Turn Two

                I can’t imagine trading Wells before the season starts when the message of the leadership has continually been that they want depth. Just because scouts are at a game doesn’t mean that the pitcher is leaving.

                • CubFan Paul

                  It was a minor league start. Wells was the only player of significance there

                  Without Wells, the pitching staff is 11 deep (see above)

                  • Turn Two

                    If you look at the bottom end of the 11, it is the same stuff we were throwing out there last year. Funny how last year Rodrigo Lopez and Casey Coleman were the problem and this year you call them depth. Granted they are further on the depth chart than last year, but that speaks exactly to my point of not trading Wells.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      Lopez and Coleman weren’t the problem in 2011. it was the shrinking budget/payroll and no young MLB ready pitching in the upper levels of the minors.

                      This year the major league payroll is still shrinking but young MLB ready pitching has been added and the lack of depth young players from 2011 (coleman, jackson, rusin, & russell) are all one year better and improved

                    • Jay Anderson Jr

                      Cubs fan Paul, you are the same person who said Wells wouldn’t start because he a Hendry guy. So are 3 other slated to start. Garza, Demp, and Shark. Wells will not be traded, and should not be forced to sit behind Volstad. Volstad should wait his turn. He has impressed, but not enough to de-throne Wells. I’m willing to bet Wells is in the rotation over Volstad.

  • Jschroeder

    Welcome to the Desert southwest my friend

  • Kyle

    The 2 Ks and no walks out of 20 batters faced tells me one of the following:

    1) He still has no out pitch.
    2) He needs to work on command of his pitches in the zone.
    3) His fastball is too straight
    4) He didn’t care about location today and just need to get work in to strengthen his arm.
    5) He was under instructions to work on a specific location and the batters knew it was coming (it seemed like he was throwing a lot of inside fastballs).
    6) None of it matters because it’s still just spring training.

    I’m going with No. 6.

  • ty

    As a former player–siu univ. I would feel very comfortable hitting against Jeff at this point . You can guess on one of two pitches-both hard and not much movement. HE IS improving. But when I stand behind the screen at Fitch–no more than 20 feet from batters box -it is Wells that has the most movement on his pitches. Wells does not have strikeout movement but out pitches . I still think he is capable of a fine season.

    • CubFan Paul

      Gotta love the former athlete who still thinks he can take on a pro.

  • Jonski

    Im hoping Jay Jackson in AAA and finally healthy will turn the corner Shark has earned it so far no doubt,but still not sold on him in the rotation….still think is best option is the bullpen!

  • Turn Two

    What happened to this casey coleman throwing gas out of the pen story? One minute I hear he is capable of mid-90’s heat in short relief and the next I hear he will again be a bad emergency starter. With his command, if he can throw heat, Id just assume give him a shot in the bullpen, because he is not panning out in the starters role.

    • Mrp

      They might be thinking that they need to stretch him out with Wood struggling and Samardzija being a wild card just to keep some depth in case there are injuries.

  • mark

    I’ve always liked Samardzija’s competitive attitude, but when I read stuff like: “If Iā€™m down in the zone, it turns into quick outs. If not, you see a cutter there, it gets fisted out, it gets over second base, things like that,” I begin having doubts. 10 hits in 4 innings, all bloopers? C’mon, Jeff. There was a homer and 2 doubles in there, too. Could we have a bit of reality?

    Maybe Samardzija is most effective doing an inning or two at most, following guys (like Wells, Volstad, Lopez) with lots of movement, before hitters get a chance to adjust.

  • cubsin

    Wells is in the same position as Garza or Starlin Castro – he’ll be traded if the offer is good enough. Of course, the return on Wells wouldn’t need to be quite so high.

    I’d be pleasantly surprised if they received an offer that high for Wells during Spring Training. Jed and Theo are well aware of the question marks in our pitching depth. If Samardzija and Volstad are solid through four or five MLB starts, Wells would be available for much less.

    • Jay Anderson Jr

      Wells will start over Volstad.

      • CubFan Paul

        How much are you willing to bet? And Garza, Demp, and Shark are slated to start over Wells because they’re better than Wells or have more upside

  • die hard

    Joe Mather=Smoky Burgess..played for Cubs and White Sox….all time PH great…look him up

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/burgesm01-bat.shtml

  • die hard

    Coleman belongs as 5th Starter…kids stuff still good 2nd and 3rd time thru lineup…Maybe not so much with Smardzjia…also Coleman has that Roy Oswalt/Greg Maddux killer instinct…keep him

  • die hard

    LaHair was focused on fielding Castro’s bad throws…now he realizes that hes doing best he can and now should fuggetaboutit…and do what comes natural which is hit

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