Michael Bowden for Starter in 2013 and Other Bullets

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Michael Bowden for Starter in 2013 and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

It was fun to be at The Game yesterday, despite the unfortunate outcome. I definitely underestimated the volume of … razzing … I’d receive while wearing my Michigan garb. I suppose that the fact that we parked by, and walked through, a huge chunk of off-campus student housing at OSU probably played a part in that. But I survived, and it will make for an interesting story.

  • As I surmised a couple weeks ago, Michael Bowden is being stretched out in the DWL with an eye toward potentially starting next year. You have to figure the Cubs are going to add enough “certain” starting pitchers this offseason – another one or two – to have a “full” rotation in Spring Training, but obviously you can’t have too many starting pitchers. The question, though, will be what happens if the first five are healthy, and Bowden is pitching well as a starter in Spring? Does he bump somebody, head to the bullpen, or head to Iowa to keep starting? Probably the latter, but it’s rarely a great idea to take one of your better relief arms and send him out (especially if Alberto Cabrera is also being stretched out). Then again, when do things work out as planned? If the Cubs think Bowden has the potential to be a successful starter in the bigs – and nothing in his time with the Red Sox said he couldn’t be – stretch him out, and deal with the consequences when you actually have to.
  • There was a Twitter rumor floating around yesterday that Randy Wells had signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers, but that apparently isn’t the case. He’s a free agent, though, so it could happen eventually.
  • It’s a creatively designed formula, which is to say we can only lend its results as much credence as we lend the formula, but The Hardball Times devised a way to evaluate and quantify managerial bullpen decisions (i.e., did the manager bring in the right arm at the right time). The Cubs, under Dale Sveum, came in third, behind two that you’d expect to see at the top in the Orioles and the A’s. Sveum’s moves, according to the formula (which is debated in the comments, and which you can see at that link), added 4.51 wins to the Cubs’ total in 2012. It’s nice to have a data point that suggests Sveum is good at one of the more important aspects of his in-game managerial role. Then again, it’s kind of disconcerting to be told that the Cubs were 4.5 wins better than they might otherwise have been … which was already pretty awful.
  • You may have missed it with the Thanksgiving holiday, but we had a new podcast episode on Wednesday, so check it out. And if you want to get the new weekly episodes automatically, you can subscribe via iTunes, or if you use some other kind of podcast-catching thingy, here’s the feed you would use.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.