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DieHard
02-05-2011, 10:40 PM
So the rotation is currently set with Zambrano, Garza and Dempster (not necessarily in that order) but what about the last two spots. Canidates seem to be, in no particular order, Carlos Silva, Randy Wells, Casey Coleman, Jeff Samardzija, Andrew Cashner, James Russell and Braden Looper.
Lets start with the top. Silva had a pretty good year last year, especially considering his performance in Seattle for the last couple years, and has the most starting experience of the bunch. Next we have Wells who had a pretty impressive rookie year and then a pretty dismal sophomore year, but had horrid run support for most of the year. I am going to jump to Samardzija next.......he showed tons of promise, but for some reason cannot seem to cut it as a starter and maybe at all in the bigs. Like so many players in baseball history he does well in the Minors but can't seem to handle the Majors. Coleman, Cashner and Russell have done well out of the pen but starting is a whole different beast considering hitters get a better look seeing them 3 or more times a game on average. Looper, a non roster invitee, had some knee and payroll problems so who knows how well he can do at this point after taking 2 seasons off from the game.
With all that being said I see Silva and Russel starting the year off in the rotation.


http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110204&content_id=16568996&vkey=news_chc&c_id=chc

Beebop
02-05-2011, 11:56 PM
I agree with Silva, But I think it will be him and wells.

I really liked Silva last year. With him in the 4/5 spot I think they have the 2nd best rotation in the NL central, Behind St. Louis. Seems like the cubbies are trying to make a run to end the curse this year!

DieHard
02-06-2011, 07:47 AM
If Zambrano can pitch how he did at the end of last season, Silva can stay on track with last season, and the number 5 can just do well I do not see why their rotation would not be a threat. It seems like every couple few years they make moves like this to run for the post season though, getting there doesn't seem to be their problem.....getting past the first round is the problem lol

astrosfanatic
02-06-2011, 08:05 AM
well, the NL Central is the best it has been in a few years. they sure won't have it easy making it there. The pitching in the NL Central should be really good this year all the way around. Even the Pirates have that McDonald kid that looks to be a pretty solid pitcher, not to mention Tailleson on the way....

The Cubs offense is what worries me with their chances this year. Is Pena really that much of an improvement over D Lee??? maybe their young guys (Soto, Colvin, Castro) take a step forward or maybe they take a step back. Who knows? I do know that i am excited about the NL Central finally having some respectability to the competition level....

Mudge
02-06-2011, 08:32 AM
I have to agree with astrosfanatic's overall here: the NL Central will be more competitive in 2011, and the Cubs' offense is more problematic than the pitching. Ramirez, Soriano, Fukudome, Byrd, and Pena are all going to be in their mid-30's, and for the first three, their offensive contributions have been erratic. The youngsters are solid, but hardly the stuff around which to build a contender.

As for the starting pitching, I like Dempster -- though he is really a number 2 or 3 kind of pitcher (200 IP; 3.50 ERA). Garza is a good pickup, but he, too would appear to be a solid #3, especially in Wrigley. The question is whether Zambrano can fill the #1 spot. Probably not, but he could give the Cubs a third #2/3 pitcher, which is not a bad position to be in.

Silva and Wells look like the likely 4/5 starters at this point.

WilsonC
02-06-2011, 09:02 AM
The Cubs are a bit of an interesting team right now, in that they could easily sneak up and surprise people. It's a fairly strong division, but one without a clear elite team.

The Cubs don't really have much star-level talent, but they're kind of in a position where the stock is down on a lot of their talent, perhaps more than it should be. The pitching should be solid enough, but look at the offense for a moment. Fukudome's not quite what they dreamed on, but he gets on base at a pretty good clip and has at least a little power. Byrd's no star, but he's solid enough. Soriano, Ramirez, and Pena have seen their performance fluctuate more than you'd like, but are not that far removed from being very good players. Soto's an excellent offensive catcher, and Castro has the ability to be one of the better hitting SS. It's certainly not a core that I'd bank on, but it is one that have a pretty high ceiling due to the fact that a lot of the disappointment's come from previously good players who have had recent injury issues.

DieHard
02-06-2011, 09:57 AM
The NLC used to be one of the toughest divisions because there was no one dominate team, they were all good- not great, but good. I am excited to see what all the teams are going to do this coming year.

With that being said, the problem the Cubs had last year was a lack of offense. Soriano is pretty much worthless anymore. His fielding has never been very good, his speed is way done due to knee and age issues, and he is not really hitting anymore. Then we have Fukudome who as pointed out earlier is not what was expected. Not having a good starting 2nd baseman also hurt the team, Baker is a decent player and Theriot/ Fontenot are decent players but none of them are truly All-Star caliber at 2nd. Then we had the problem of Lee and Rameriz, both very good solid hitters that had a pretty well horrible year. The pitching staff was above par last season and the Cubs had every reason to dominate the division, but they couldn't bring in runners. With 4 guys hitting above .300 at one point the run totals were dismal. I hate to say it because they are to of my favorite players, but Lee and Rameriz were the downfall of the team last season.

JoeyTTU01
02-08-2011, 07:17 PM
Impressed with CARLOS SILVA? Really? Yeah, he got off to a good start with the Cubs but then turned into the Carlos Silva he was in Seattle.
First Half: 17 GS 9-3 3.45 72 K (101.2 IP)
Second Half: 4 GS 1-3 11.12 8 K (11.1)

Personally, I rather this be the Cubs 2011 Rotation, Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Carlos Zambrano and Randy Wells.

Randy Wells
2009 29 GS 12-10 3.05 104 K (165.1)
2010 32 GS 8-14 4.26 144 K (194.1)

I think the competition in spring training for the last spot will be interesting battle likely to include Carlos Silva (ugh), Casey Coleman, Andrew Cashner (started in minors after being closer in college, up and down rookie year), Jeff Samardzija and James Russell.I ultimately think Russell ends up back in the bullpen with Sean Marshall from the left side. Coleman likely ends up back in Triple-A and its possible who ever losses out between Silva, Cashner and Samardzija ends up in the bullpen.

DieHard
02-09-2011, 10:54 AM
Samardzija is out of options so I see him going to the pen. He seems to do better out of the pen, not saying that he is great out of the pen, than he does starting at the Major League level

JoshRedcay
02-09-2011, 03:31 PM
I like Wells for at least the No. 5 spot. He would get favorable matchups, and perhaps last year was just a combination of run support (like you said) and that sophomore slump that we hear a lot about. I think he would be able to very well return to his rookie season numbers, then again he could just do as bad as last year and the rookie season could have been a fluke.

I don't think it would hurt to try...give him a month or two and see how things go. Spring training should also paint a good picture but you can't always go by that, considering the variety of different players that other teams are putting in their lineups.

JoeyTTU01
03-13-2011, 01:27 PM
Carlos Silva should be cut. He has been terrible in every start not to mention getting into a argument with A-Ram after one of his brutal starts. We have too much talent fighting for a rotation spot to give it to a bum like Silva who after a good start was terrible anyway in 2010.

RickD
03-13-2011, 03:13 PM
Sadly, the Yankees are looking at him in case he gets cut!