It’s getting closer and closer to opening day for the Chicago Cubs, and there are still some big looming questions that are yet to be answered.
The Cubs filled out their pitching rotation this Friday, setting Carlos Silva and Tom Gorzelanny into the 4th and 5th starting positions. The move means Jeff Samardzija and Sean Marshall will join a bullpen that has three rookies.
Including Carlos Marmol, six out of the Cubs’ seven relievers are under the age of 27, and Jim Hendry said he was content with that fact.
One question that bothers me: What do the Cubs want to do with Samardzija?
It’s been three years, $10 million, and it’s still a mystery what they want to do with him. The Cubs have previously stated they want him to be a starter one day, and his paycheck certainty confirms that, but no serious move to keep him in the starting rotation has been done.
What I believe is holding back Samardzija is his lack of development of his off speed pitches. He has a nice fast ball but that’s about it. I always thought he had a better chance at football but that’s another story…
Three rookies in a bullpen scares me a little. I don’t think anybody can feel secure about having three rookies in such important and underrated positions, but Lou Piniella and Hendy both feel confident about it. I have a feeling that this isn’t going to work, and that we’ll see a change pretty early in the season.
To add to the bullpen problem, Carlos Marmol isn’t totally a sure thing as a closer. Sure he did better than Kevin Gregg, but come on, that’s not an accomplishment worth noting. Nothing bothers fans more than a closer who can’t “save” games. Marmol can be a good closer, and he has shown he can get batters out, but his inconsistency to hit the strike zone can be a death attribute to any closer.
The Cubs are really experimenting this year on the pitching side. It could work, but for how long?
* – Jeff Samardzija photo credit: BleacherNation.com