Sox Shock Cubs at Tucson Electric

This time I'm SURE the game was on WGN-TV (because that's how I watched it), so I'm not going to go into a complete review of the game, but the White Sox defeated the Cubs 7-6 yesterday at VERY hot (upper 90's) Tucson Electric Park. box score Angel Guzman got the start, and went 3.1 IP. He threw 63 pitches (8/28/10/17), and was probably removed when he was because he was pitching with a 60-65 pitch limit. It was that 28 pitch second inning that was his downfall, because by the 4th, he was laboring and out of gas. Although Gooz was throwing his fastball consistently 94-96, he was unable to finish-off hitters, especially Juan Uribe (recently released from jail), who had an incredible eleven-pitch AB in the 2nd (including six foul balls) before finally drawing a walk. Guzman threw a lot of first-pitch strikes (which is good, because that's his #1 problem) and had two strikes on a number of hitters, but no strikeouts. He had both a good curve and a good change-up that he was able to throw for strikes (he throws the curve to right-handed hitters and the change-up to left-handed hitters). Guzman was also the victim of a couple of misplays in the outfield in the 2nd inning. Felix Pie threw to 3rd base instead of to 2nd (allowing the batter-runner to take 2nd and remove the force-out opportunity), and Cliff Floyd first failed to catch and then overrran a hump-back line-drive "triple" to LF, with the ball bouncing merrily to the fence as both runners scored. All in all, I thought Guzman looked OK. Not great, but a typical Cactus League-type pitching performance. (As some of you may have noticed, the Cactus League is an extreme "hitter's league"). At least Guzman is healthy and throwing strikes with plus velocity. He definitely warrants further consideration before a final decision is made on the #5 starter, although having a minor league option available will hurt his chances, since Hendry probably would prefer to keep both Wade Miller and Guzman in the organization, and if Miller doesn't make the Opening Day roster, he will probably be traded. Ryan O'Malley, Rocky Cherry, Roberto Novoa, Michael Wuertz, and Carmen Pignatiello all worked in the game, too, and Cherry looked good in relief of O'Malley, although he did allow one inherited run to score on a ground ball the Cubs could not turn into an inning-ending DP. In his one full inning of work, Cherry surrendered a walk and a single, but also got two strikeouts. And Novoa looked even better (1-2-3 inning with a K), easily the best I've seen him throw so far this Spring. Michael Wuertz, who has been battling a sore shoulder, made his ST debut, and threw the ball pretty well, both his fastball and his slider. He gave up two singles, but no runs, and he threw strikes (one strikeout). Hopefully, Wuertz can stay healthy and be ready for Opening Day. That would mean the Cubs can take their time with Kerry Wood's strained triceps, although hopefully he will be 100% by Opening Day, too. Carmen Pignatiello was ineffective in the 9th, giving up a walk to Jim Thome and a single to Paul Konerko, before long-time Cub-killer Rob Mackowiak singled in the winning run. As far as Cubs offensive highlights are concerned, Matt Murton hit a solo home run onto the street in the 2nd inning, and Casey McGehee lined a game-tying bases-loaded bases-clearing double into right-center off Sox closer Bobby Jenks (who had a terrible outing), as the Cubs rallied to tie the game in the top of the 9th. Unforturnately, McGehee was subsequently doubled-off base on a line drive, and so the Cubs could not push across the go-ahead run. Ronny Cedeno demonstrated that he might finally be learning the lessons taught by Lou Piniella and Gerald Perry, as he took an outside pitch to RF for an RBI single in the 5th. (Piniella and Perry want Cedeno to shoot pitches on the outside corner to RF, instead of trying to pull everything). And after a 9th inning single, Jake Fox is now hitting .600. The Cubs return to HoHoKam Park today (Saturday) for a long ago sold-out St. Patrick's Day game versus the San Diego Padres that will be televised all over the solar system on WGN-TV. Question to ponder: Will the Cubs wear their green uniforms today, or just green hats?
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Comments

Thanks for the re-cap, AZ Phil.

Is anyone else really encouraged by Cedeno's batting line this Spring? He's put up encouraging numbers before (his AAA line is impressive), but he seems to have found a LOT more discipline at the plate.

After drawing only 17 BBs in 534 ABs last year, Cedeno has already drawn 5 BBs in on 34 ABs this spring for a much-improved .265/.359/.412 (.771) line.

Romero — March 17, 2007 @ 10:19 am
Thanks for the re-cap, AZ Phil.

Is anyone else really encouraged by Cedeno’s batting line this Spring? He’s put up encouraging numbers before (his AAA line is impressive), but he seems to have found a LOT more discipline at the plate.

After drawing only 17 BBs in 534 ABs last year, Cedeno has already drawn 5 BBs in on 34 ABs this spring for a much-improved .265/.359/.412 (.771) line.

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ROMERO: Ronny Cedeno has always been a hard worker (first on the field, last off), and he CAN be coached. It's just that he needs somebody to teach him who actually knows what they're doing and what they are talking about.

I think the Cubs are going to want to have Cedeno play a full-season at AAA Iowa in 2007 (although he can be recalled as necessary if anything happens to Izturis), and then after the season, make a decision on whether to exercise their $5.85M 2008 option on Izturis and bring him back, or go with Cedeno as their #1 SS for "auto-renewal"-type money. That $5M+ in 2008 payroll might come in handy elsewhere.

As for Cedeno, he needs to stop trying to pull everything, and I think once his hitting improves, he will get his confidence back and play better defense, too, because he has the skills needed to be a very good defender at shortstop.

If the Cubs decide to keep Cedeno and let Izturis go after the season, the Cubs can put Cedeno in the #8 spot in the batting order and just leave him there, and as long as he hits 8th, he should be OK. I think a year of AAA will do wonders for Ronny's confidence.

AZ Phil: I'm noticing that Matt Murton seems to be showing gradually improving power, including yesterday's long HR. It seems like he's more confident turning on pitches. This is reminding me of Sandberg's learning curve (I'm not saying he's RS, just that he's learning to hit with some power). Have you noticed this as well or is this just the thin desert air?

cubster — March 17, 2007 @ 10:44 am
AZ Phil: I’m noticing that Matt Murton seems to be showing gradually improving power, including yesterday’s long HR. It seems like he’s more confident turning on pitches. This is reminding me of Sandberg’s learning curve (I’m not saying he’s RS, just that he’s learning to hit with some power). Have you noticed this as well or is this just the thin desert air?

===========================

CUBSTER: I'm not sure if he's doing it more than before. I know when he has hit in the #2 spot in the order this ST, he mainly seems to look to go to RF, especially with a runner on base and less than two outs. He has been consistently hitting with plus-power to the opposite field (including HRs and doubles) all Spring, but then he also can turn on the ball and give it a whack like he did yesterday. I just think he's becoming a really good hitter, capable of taking the pitch (any pitch) in the strike zone and driving it somewhere, anywhere. He has been hitting the ball very HARD all Spring.

He definitely warrants further consideration before a final decision is made on the #5 starter, although having a minor league option available will hurt his chances, since Hendry probably would prefer to keep both Wade Miller and Guzman in the organization, and if Miller doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, he will probably be traded.

Miller needs to be named the #5 starter because we need both Miller AND Guzman. Even if our starting four are successful and make 30 starts each that still leaves room for two more starters to pick up the games left over. In fact, the #5 starters don't seem to even make 20 starts anymore. The World Champion Cardinals used 8 starters and the Tigers 7 to get through the season.

But as you point out, if Miller isn't named to the starting rotation he probably will be gone and we will be rooting around in AA, AAA and the DL looking for SP's later this year.That forumula for success really worked for us last year, didn't it?

Better to begin with Miller and bring in Guzman later as the season progresses.

As for Cedeno, he needs to stop trying to pull everything,

Who's idea was this? Cedeno was never a pull hitter. Like Murton he hit to all fields.

cubswinthepennant — March 17, 2007 @ 10:56 am
But as you point out, if Miller isn’t named to the starting rotation he probably will be gone and we will be rooting around in AA, AAA and the DL looking for SP’s later this year.That forumula for success really worked for us last year, didn’t it?

Better to begin with Miller and bring in Guzman later as the season progresses.

========================

CWtP: Unless Wade Miller gets creamed (and I mean PLASTERED) in his next two starts, I think he gets the #5 spot in the rotation, and Guzman goes to Iowa, even if Guzman pitches well in his next two starts. I do think Guzman has outpitched Miller so far and has much greater future upside, but it looks like that doesn't matter.

Jim Hendry wants to maintain his starting pitching "inventory" (an old Jim Frey term that Hendry has started using), and the Mark Prior situation just makes it even more likely that Hendry is going to want to hang onto Miller until Miller proves he's totally incapable of being a rotation starter (jury is still out).

Speaking of Mark Prior, I predict he will suddenly be diagnosed with "right shoulder weakness," and will be placed on the DL. Then he'll work on "strengthening" his shoulder at EXST at Fitch for a couple of months, before eventually (probably sometime in June) going on a 30-day minor league rehab, after-which either he rejoins the Cubs starting rotation (presuming there is an opening), or remains on the DL for the rest of the season, or at least until September 1st (when the rosters expand). If it's the latter (Prior remains on the DL for most-all of 2007), the Cubs will probably non-tender him next December, rather than pay him $3M+ to possibly not pitch again in 2008.

Arizona Phil -- I look forward to your posts as a thoughtful, intelligent alternative to the typical Trib/Sun Times patter. I was trying to find your post explaining the minor league options/contract status of players in they organization, but the new MVN format makes it tough to search archives. Any chance you could email or post the date that post appeared so I can print it for future reference? Thanks again for all you do.

cubswinthepennant — March 17, 2007 @ 11:09 am
As for Cedeno, he needs to stop trying to pull everything,

Who’s idea was this? Cedeno was never a pull hitter. Like Murton he hit to all fields.

=============================

CWtP: Cedeno by nature hits to all fields, but he got pull conscious last ST when he was given the starting SS job, and never really stopped thinking that way. He came to camp this year trying to pull everything again, and although he hasn't totally gotten out of the habit (he leads the Cubs hitters in strikeouts this Spring), he now seems to be trying to take pitches to RF, or at least he did yesterday.

As for Murton, he leads the Cubs in HR and BB this ST, and two of his three HR were off certified MLB RHP rotation-starters (Brandon McCarthy and Javier Vazquez--the other was off another MLB rotation starter, LAA LHP Joe Saunders). Not too shabby for somebody Hendry and Piniella feel needs to be platooned.

a 15+hr SS who can field worth a damn is worth a lot of money...no wonder he's trying to pull everything.

the thing that wierds me out is last winter, in winter ball, he picked up this...THING...where he suddenly has trouble throwing the ball after fielding it. a guy with a sure glove/sure arm suddenly learns to hit a little and his fielding goes washy. no idea why, no guess, nothing...*shrug*

Cubs 2007 ST roster-options-contracts:

I have made some updates to the original article:

INF Bobby Hill flunked his physical and was released, and Rule 5 pick RHP Lincoln Holdzkom has been returned to the Cubs from HOU.

Also, I updated the Cubs ST roster to be effective 3/17.

peice on prior by tim "ink slinger for hire" brown.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AglbizB...

i like the dude...he's moved around a lot over the years and never really gained a good national foothold even though he's written for some major papers. didnt know he was a yahoo columnist.

Patience can't be taught.

Spring statistics aren't important, says Dayn Perry: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6570558

Thank God for Dayn Perry! Otherwise we would've never found this out!

Excerpt:
"To cite an extreme example of this phenomenon, take a hitter who goes 1-for-3 in the spring opener. He's batting .333. Now take Will Clark in 1989. He went 196-for-588 on the season for an average of ... .333. Both players had the same batting average, but Clark is more of a "true" .333 hitter because his skills have been borne out over time."

AZ Phil: I predict he will suddenly be diagnosed with “right shoulder weakness,” ...
------
I'm not sure about the intricacies of the DL (where can I read up on that?) but medically speaking right shoulder weakness is a symptom or physical exam/diagnostic testing finding, not a diagnosis in itself. A diagnosis refers to the condition that is the cause of the symptom/sign/finding such as "shoulder weakness".

My guess is the DL rules are not very fussy regarding medical terminology though. When MP crashed into Marcus Giles he had a shoulder contusion, two springs ago he had achilles tendonitis, when he was hit by the line drive he had a hairline fracture of the lateral condyle at the elbow. Those are diagnoses.

Again we have a non-diagnostic situation for Prior, which is what is irritating Cubdom. I don't think he should be weak from "not throwing enough for 2 years" as pitchers who are cleared to resume throwing in a recovery situation usually get up to speed in the time he's been throwing, unless the underlying condition would be consistent with persisting weakness. Something is wrong here but it just might be because of privacy issues. I believe it's a lack of disclosure as to what was the underlying problem with MP has been. I'm not saying that is wrong, as patients do have the right to privacy of their medical conditions, even high profile patients like MP. It could be what was said when he saw Dr. Andrews, which is shoulder capsular laxity. That is usually something he had as a child/teen and might now be an issue when he has had so much off time from "injury" or something happened to stretch the shoulder enough to make it have instability. Somebody needs to interview Dr. Andrews to ask him what time frame he thinks it would take for MP given his shoulder laxity to regain his previous normal shoulder strength for professional pitching competition.

I still suspect that he does have a more substantial diagnosis leading to this situation, just that nobody is being permitted to disclose it. Given the current situation and assuming the accurate diagnosis is capsular laxity, and if he is throwing without pain, then all he clearly needs to do is build up arm strength which means pitching in the minors or somewhere (Arizona) for awhile. He should be able to pitch with laxity as most pitchers have substantial laxity as the pitching motions leads to this and losing the laxity would probably be a worse thing for a pitcher. Too much laxity leads to shoulder (glenohumeral) instability but that usually has some pain involved when the joint starts to slip out of place and that might be his problem but I haven't seen anyone say that is his diagnosis nor have we seen reports that he is having pain this spring. If it is and they are trying to rehab him without surgically tightening up his shouder joint capsule, it may need a full season of pitching on a regular basis to get him back to where he used to be, so I wouldn't cut ties here as he might return to his old self month(s) or even a season from now, as long as he can keep throwing on a regular schedule. It would be nice to have this more clearly outlined to the fans though since how he's pitching in the last month certainly leads to all kinds of speculation.

That's a fantastic analysis, Cubster. Kudos and thanks.

By the way, according to the MLB rulebook analysis by ESPN, this is the fundamental DL rule:

"To be placed on either Disabled List, a player must be certified disabled by a doctor. That said, such certifications generally aren't particularly difficult to acquire."

FUN MESSING AROUND WITH THE DL

so to update AZ Phil...

I predict he will suddenly be diagnosed with “right shoulder weakness secondary to ongoing shoulder (glenohumeral) capsular laxity”

(Phil's gonna yell at me for putting words in his mouth)

CUBSTER: Excellent !

BTW, since you are a doctor, can you just call up Dr. Andrews and ask him to send Prior's medical records to your office? Then you can post it here at TCR. That would help a lot.

How long do you think it would take for the records to arrive? Would Monday be too soon? Could you maybe use overnight express shipping? That would get it to you faster, and would allow us to get to the truth before Prior's next minor league intrasquad game.

damn phil...you ask too many questions.

how about returning the favor and answering some other people's questions for a change?

geez...

"how about returning the favor and answering some other people’s questions for a change?"

Hope it was sarcasm, because I have never seen a question asked to Phil that he didn't reply sooner or later.

I still think, though, that his entries are full-length books -- but I love him anyway :)

can you just call up Dr. Andrews and ask him to send Prior’s medical records to your office?

Not without a form signed by MP releasing his medical records. He won't even discuss MP's case without consent. Now if you can only have MP autograph one of these medical consent to release record forms...

AZ Phil,
You state in your report that Guzman threw the change-up well but in other reports by people who observed him as well as a comment I read somewhere from Piniella, they said they only saw two pitches being used. In fact, I believe it was Piniella that said he couldn't understand why Guz hadn't thrown the change at all. Why did you see a good change while the others saw none?

"Hope it was sarcasm, because I have never seen a question asked to Phil that he didn’t reply sooner or later."

uber-tons of sarcasm.

"uber-tons of sarcasm."

I haven't had my morning coffee and it's 12.30pm.

cubster — March 17, 2007 @ 12:25 pm
can you just call up Dr. Andrews and ask him to send Prior’s medical records to your office?

Not without a form signed by MP releasing his medical records. He won’t even discuss MP’s case without consent. Now if you can only have MP autograph one of these medical consent to release record forms…

===================================

CUBSTER: I'll see what I can do. I'll have my son ask MP for his "autograph."

BTW, does the form have to be notarized, and can it have mustard stains on it? Also, can a signed baseball be submitted in lieu of the standard release form? I already have one of those, so if a signed baseball can be submitted in lieu of the form, you're going to end up with medical records for Casey McGehee and Les Walrond, too (you can just thow those out).

I don't think this was mentioned yet, but for some time now (at least 6-7 months) AZ Phil has been calling for Cubs scouting in Asia. Well, here comes news from cubs.com:

MESA, Ariz. -- Is the next superstar big leaguer in Australia? What about Japan? Or Taiwan? Former Cubs pitcher Steve Wilson was hired recently as the team's first full-time Pacific Rim scout, and his job is to travel on the other side of the world and find that player. [snip]

Click here for the full story.

les walrond autographed baseball?

wow...picking out your summer home yet?

A signed Casey McGehee ball on St. Paddy's day?

Priceless.

Walt — March 17, 2007 @ 12:27 pm
AZ Phil,
You state in your report that Guzman threw the change-up well but in other reports by people who observed him as well as a comment I read somewhere from Piniella, they said they only saw two pitches being used. In fact, I believe it was Piniella that said he couldn’t understand why Guz hadn’t thrown the change at all. Why did you see a good change while the others saw none?

=============================

WALT: I don't know. Gooz threw four change-ups (one each to Erstad, Podsednik, Thome, and Mackowiak). He also threw eight curve balls to right-handed hitters. So he threw 51 fastballs out of his 63 pitches (about 80% fastballs).

Perhaps Piniella was using hyperbole to tell Guzman that he should throw fewer fastballs, and mix up his pitches better.

AZ Phil:
"Unless Wade Miller gets creamed (and I mean PLASTERED) in his next two starts, I think he gets the #5 spot in the rotation, and Guzman goes to Iowa, even if Guzman pitches well in his next two starts. I do think Guzman has outpitched Miller so far and has much greater future upside, but it looks like that doesn’t matter."

So what you are saying is the LouPa is preferring the veteran over the rookie? I thought we got rid of that supposed philosophy when Baker was not renewed?

lol, I may be wrong, but Miller doesn't suck like Neifi sucked.

Rynox:
"I may be wrong, but Miller doesn’t suck like Neifi sucked."

I may be wrong, but Cedeno got over 550 PA's last year.

mannytrillo says:

March 17th, 2007 at 12:36 pm

AZ Phil:
“Unless Wade Miller gets creamed (and I mean PLASTERED) in his next two starts, I think he gets the #5 spot in the rotation, and Guzman goes to Iowa, even if Guzman pitches well in his next two starts. I do think Guzman has outpitched Miller so far and has much greater future upside, but it looks like that doesn’t matter.”

So what you are saying is the LouPa is preferring the veteran over the rookie? I thought we got rid of that supposed philosophy when Baker was not renewed?
______________________________________

Dusty again?

It's obvious from the rest of that comment that it's a net benefit to the team from a roster standpoint to keep Miller on the team as a starter and have Guzman ready to fill in as a 6th starter.

This is an example of "picking and choosing" that people so often accuse you of (and by which you become so defensive). You've twisted AZ Phil's comment. Will you admit it or claim that your comment meant something entirely more complicated and indecipherable? I'm on pins and needles to see which it is...

mannytrillo says:

March 17th, 2007 at 1:11 pm

Rynox:
“I may be wrong, but Miller doesn’t suck like Neifi sucked.”

I may be wrong, but Cedeno got over 550 PA’s last year.

________________________________________
At shortstop.

Neifi replaced Derrek Lee in the lineup. You're being disingenuous.

Jumbo:
"Neifi replaced Derrek Lee in the lineup. You’re being disingenuous."

And you are not understanding the debate. Please reread the debate, so maybe you can understand.

Rynox was saying that it was OK to play Miller (veteran) over Guzman (youngster) as he didn't suck as much as Neifi (veteran). But I was pointing out that Neifi wasn't holding back Cedeno (youngster) from playing. So comparing Neifi and Miller makes no sense.

Understand now?

Jumbo:
"It’s obvious from the rest of that comment that it’s a net benefit to the team from a roster standpoint to keep Miller on the team as a starter and have Guzman ready to fill in as a 6th starter."

Not in my opinion if Guzman is clearly better. I want the best pitcher starting in that 5th spot. I don't care about the roster standpoint of it. If Miller does not want to pitch out of the pen, then deal him, no big deal, he isn't anymore than a 5th starter anyway, IMO.

# mannytrillo — March 17, 2007 @ 1:43 pm

Not in my opinion if Guzman is clearly better.
-------------------------

Well, then the question is, in your opinion, is Guzman clearly better?

mannytrillo says:

March 17th, 2007 at 1:39 pm

Jumbo:
“Neifi replaced Derrek Lee in the lineup. You’re being disingenuous.”

And you are not understanding the debate. Please reread the debate, so maybe you can understand.

Rynox was saying that it was OK to play Miller (veteran) over Guzman (youngster) as he didn’t suck as much as Neifi (veteran). But I was pointing out that Neifi wasn’t holding back Cedeno (youngster) from playing. So comparing Neifi and Miller makes no sense.

Understand now?
________________________________________
This is a moot point, as you are creating a controversy in your earlier comment about Lou playing a veteran over a youngster ala Dusty. There's no comment from Rynox if you don't pick and choose comments out of context and use them to draw false conclusions.

By the way, this "Understand now?" comment is insulting and offensive. Why would you attack me like that?

BTW, when someone sucks less, they deserve to play more. (Or better players should play more) Do you agree with this?

mannytrillo says:

March 17th, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Jumbo:
“It’s obvious from the rest of that comment that it’s a net benefit to the team from a roster standpoint to keep Miller on the team as a starter and have Guzman ready to fill in as a 6th starter.”

Not in my opinion if Guzman is clearly better. I want the best pitcher starting in that 5th spot. I don’t care about the roster standpoint of it. If Miller does not want to pitch out of the pen, then deal him, no big deal, he isn’t anymore than a 5th starter anyway, IMO.
_____________________
Here's your starting five:
Z
Lilly
Marquis
Hill
Guzman
Who do you want to come up when there's an injury? PS Miller's not on the team.

LNL:
"Well, then the question is, in your opinion, is Guzman clearly better?"

I am not sure to be honest. Living here in CT, I haven't been able to watch any of the ST games, just go off what I hear here or read elsewhere. But I was going off what AZ Phil said: "Unless Wade Miller gets creamed (and I mean PLASTERED) in his next two starts, I think he gets the #5 spot in the rotation, and Guzman goes to Iowa, even if Guzman pitches well in his next two starts. I do think Guzman has outpitched Miller so far and has much greater future upside, but it looks like that doesn’t matter." He thinks Guzman has outpitched Miller and it is tough for me to argue not have seeing wither of them pitch this year. But if that is the case, Guzman should be the 5th starter.

the lesser of 2 evils is still evil.

the lesser of 2 suck is still suck.

btw...miller vs guzman...both got +/- on their side as far as the best use of them. i wouldnt be upset about either, personally...at least miller vs. guzman vs. prior is a #5 slot problem.

Jumbo:
"Who do you want to come up when there’s an injury? PS Miller’s not on the team."

You are assuming Hendry does actually trade Miller. I wouldn't trade him. I would just put him in long relief (if Guzman was the better option for 5th starter). And if Miller is unable to beat out Guzman for that 5th spot, than he can't be pitching that good, thus the dropoff from him to the next pitcher in line to move up can't be that far, if anything. Remember, we keep hearing how the Cubs starting staff is so deep...:)

geoff "jose macias" blum is being a pain in the cub's ass in this still-early game.

5ip 3h 3r 0bb 4k...not a bad day at all. looked good doing it, too. control over both his major pitches for the most part...same ol' flyball thing, not like that's gonna go away soon.

One of the unforeseen consequences of Health Insurance Privacy Protection Act (HIPAA) is that when players develop medical conditions, there is a lot less public disclosure then there use to be. I guess players and their agents think they are protecting their client's future earnings by keeping this information close to the vest. And perhaps next Fall some owner will want to have an haeadline in the local paper that says "Mudville 9 Signs Mark Prior for $5,000,000" without first asking to look at all the medical records. But Mark Prior and his family can't complain about speculation about malingering if they decide to keep the information close to the vest.

At least this year, for a lot more money then similar pitchers (Millwod and Kenny Rogers last year v. Lilly and Marquez this year) could have been acquired last year, the Cubs have some alternatives for their starting rotation and not relying on Wood and Prior.

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