Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Good News you say?

That can't be possible - but it is!

Well, sort of. Word out of Mesa is that Prior will likely be a fifth starter to start the season, but will probably not be needed until mid-April (April 12th?). This will give him plenty of time to rest that achey elbow of his. I guess he worked yesterday (throwing 30 pitches) and felt "fine". I don't know, this is sort of good news, and sort of lame news. But it is not bad news. However, in the good news for sure department:

Kerry Wood will start tomorrow against Oakland, probably going 3 innings, maybe four. He seems to be feeling fine and should pitch the home opener. That should mean that we won't have all of Mitre, Dempster, and Rusch in the rotation at once (thank god). That is for real good news. Especially since that means I won't have to watch Dempster at the home opener.

The starting five will be, in order: Zambrano (declared the opening day starter), Maddux, Dempster, Wood and - eventually - Prior. Zambrano thoroughly deserved the opening day nod as he has been lights out this springs and was the Cubs' best pitcher last year. The downside of all the injuries (is there an upside?) is that Prior is the guy getting skipped instead of Dempster. Dempster getting the start also means that we know who the second lefty out of the pen will be: Rusch. And that means that Ohman and Randolph will be starting out the season in the minors. I think that sets the bullpens at:

LaTroy (defacto closer, according to Dusty)
Chad Fox
Wellemeyer (unless Guzman makes the team for some reason. He is getting another start today)

Not a bad pen, I think, assuming LaTroy is servicable until JoBo bursts back onto the scene.

In other news, the Cubs won yesterday 5-4. The pitching staff did well except for Fox, who was rocked for 5 hits in his one inning of work. John Koronka, who will not be making the team, pitched four strong innings in place of Maddux, who was bumped from his start to get him in the correct rotation to pitching April 5th. Nomar continued his abuse of opposing pitchers with another homer, giving him 6 on the spring. I think National League pitchers should be very, very afraid of Nomar this year.

That's all from here. The Cubs play at 2:05 CT against Arizona today, with Guzman taking the mound again. Go Cubs!

It looks like the Cubs will be alright... altho I don't feel too comfortable with LaTroy closing again. When Borowski returns, who do you think will be demoted?
Well, unless someone gets off to a particularily bad start, I would have to think Wellemeyer. Dusty never seemed to be a big fan of his, burying him deep in the bullpen, using him about once a week. Wuertz, however, he used almost every day at the beginning and end of last season. So my vote is for Wellemeyer.
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