Silva & Gorzelanny Win Rotation Spots?

Please note the question mark in the headline, but that is what Paul Sullivan seems to insinuate in his latest article.

Carlos Silva and Tom Gorzelanny appear to have locked up starting spots, meaning Jeff Samardzija and Sean Marshall will be in the bullpen.

That seemed to be the most likely scenario before spring training started, made all the more likely when Angel Guzman went down and the bullpen being filled with inexperienced players like Caridad and Berg. Marshall had some moderate success out of the pen last year and if Samardzija doesn't get optioned, he did at least have one really good month in the pen in 2008. Silva just isn't suited for pen work in my opinion. He's a sinkerballer that's gonna let guys put the ball in play and sinkerballers seem to need a few innings to get into the groove, tire the arm out a little and get a little heavier drop on the ball. Gorzelanny didn't do anything to embarrass himself so far this spring, striking out 10 in 8.1 IP, although he did walk 8 as well. He probably won't make more than 3-4 starts anyway once Ted Lilly returns.

If Sullivan's info is accurate, that leaves the bench and bullpen as the last remaining battles. The Cubs will cut it down to 30 players by Friday. Chad Tracy seems to have locked down a spot with his ability to play third base and Ramirez's sore tricep preventing him from throwing. That seems to leave one spot left for Fuld, Colvin, Hoffpauir or Millar (Hill, Baker, Nady, Tracy seem to have jobs at the moment). The Cubs rightfully don't want to bring up Colvin if he can't get regular playing time (.442 batting average during spring training but no walks versus 8 K's in 43 AB's). Fuld is hitting just .154 in just 26 AB's, but is considered the far superior defender. Millar is hitting .300 while telling bad jokes, but putting him anywhere but first base is probably a huge liability. Hoffpauir still has options left and hasn't been wowing the crowds like he did last year. Andres Blanco is also in the mix if they want a capable back-up shortstop, plus he needs to be put on waivers if the Cubs want to send him to Iowa, although I have doubts anyone would put a claim in after missing most of spring training. Of course, they could just do some disabled list trickery and buy a little time if needed with the knee injury he suffered in early March.

I'm gonna assume Mike Parisi's bid for the bullpen ended yesterday and Marcus Mateo has given up 6 runs in 6.2 IP, on 6 K's, 6 BB's and 2 HR's. Why he was even mentioned is a bit perplexing. Marmol, Grabow, Caridad, Berg, Marshall and Samardzija seem to be the first six in the pen, leaving James Russell and John Gaub fighting for the last spot and honorary pink backpack carrier.  Russell hasn't given up an earned run in 8 IP's while striking out 8 and allowing just 5 hits. Gaub has struck out 9 in 6.2 IP, but given up 5 earned runs and 2 home runs. I would think Russell is in the lead for the final spot barring a meltdown the last week and a half.

Neither Russell or Tracy are on the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 39. But if the Cubs return Parisi to the Cardinals or get him through waivers and/or put Angel Guzman on the 60-day disabled list, they'll have room for the two or possibly a third NRI player if they find some room for Kevin Millar.


that's nice paul...but what does milton bradley think about it?

...little sick of hearing about millar and at this point i hope that's just wishful thinking on behalf of sportswriters who enjoy a good quote for their papers. chad tracy makes sense for so many reasons over millar and it's not like either are really needed.

But someone has to play third base since ARam can't throw. I don't want them to have two guys on the active roster who can't play the field. That's shooting themselves in the foot to start the season. We did that garbage with Patton last year.

Even if they decide Baker can play 3rd regularly, they need a backup infielder. In which case it wouldn't be Tracey, most likely, but someone like Blanco, if healthy, or Barney, until ARan actually play.

I also like the idea of having a competent lefty pinch hitter, which Tracey supposedly is. Millar is just a spring training oddity. I can't see why they would want him on the team if other guys are healthy, with him hitting .220-.230 the last 2 seasons. But if Nady goes on the DL, I could see Millar take his spot.

Still no spring training errors for Andres Blanco, suckas! Defensive wizard!

and jeremy papelbon has K'd 1/2 the batters he's seen this spring.

it's looking like a banner season is on the horizon.

Lilly to start against minor leaguers on Saturday and hopefully 2 starts in Iowa before returning to club.

not worried about Aramis for Opening Day

Man, I really hate that someone as untalented and annoying as Paul Sullivan is still employed as a Cubs beat writer.

I am jealous/envious of his position yet fully the opposite towards him personally and the performance or lack thereof he turns in while maintaining this position. If that makes sense.

Is that you Milton Bradley?

I keed.

i think he's just too damn close to what he's covering.

the past many years he seems to think he is part of the team or he is the story that needs to be covered.

he may have a point about some off-field things, but why he thinks anyone but him and his peers should give a damn about it shows how out of touch he is with the people he's supposed to be writing for.

i reaaaaaaaaaally don't care who makes sullivan's job harder. just do your job with those that will help you get your job done and thank your God that kerry wood and mark derosa were around to make your job easier for a couple years. meh.

I have an obligatory responsibility to herald any sentiment condemning Paul Sullivan.

Crunch is right--for too long, he's thought he was part of the story. I'd much rather have a beat writer whose name I don't know.

I wanted to give him credit this spring, but he's still hitting the Bradley sauce.

autistic Chicago-area teenager has a perfect NCAA bracket so far...

wow...quentin tarantino has lost some weight. i didn't know he liked basketball.

I was going to congratulate him until I saw he had a Purdue winning it all.

What an idiot.

Ramirez singles in Colvin in top of 4th; 1-0.

Soriano up with runners on 1st/2nd and 3-1 count with 2 outs. Swings (of course) and passed ball. Runners on 2nd/3rd.

and grounds out on 3-2 pitch against Hochevar.

george brett in HD is scary...aged leather.

MLB network's announcers SUCK. They're interviewing Rusty Kuntz in the dugout and missing the actual game. WTH?

EDIT: They're not MLB's guys, they're the Royals guys. But they still suck.

I knew a girl from Seattle....nevermind.

soriano's stance is really wide today.

he's still sitting at the front of the box, though.

he's lifting his front foot rather than his back foot, too. it seems he's squatting down a bit more. the entire way he "loads" his swing seems to be new (or he's trying out something).

From the Van Dyke article today:

"Getting (pitch) recognition is the biggest issue with him," Jaramillo said. "So I've got to fix his backside down so he can get his front side down.

Silva just isn't suited for pen work in my opinion. He's a sinkerballer that's gonna let guys put the ball in play and sinkerballers seem to need a few innings to get into the groove, tire the arm out a little and get a little heavier drop on the ball

On the other hand, JUSTIN BERG is a sinkerball pitcher and he's done just fine out of the pen.

Berg's got a much better sinkerball and a little more use to working out of the pen.

That being said, I don't have high hopes for a sustained major league career unless he's developed himself a breaking ball.

Geez, I cannot see this team finishing above .500 with the bullpen it will have.

Total yuch, save a couple people. And, as I stated yesterday, should things not work out with Marmol, I just don't know...And, Notre Dame Wide-out in the pen?Heaven help us. Walkathons!

Mateo looked terrible today.

Colvin has outplayed Fuld as AZ Phil has mentioned.

So, if Hendry gets any deal done, I would think Colvin is gone.

No no no no. Colvin is now an Untouchable. This is the Cubs way.

I would hate to see Colvin traded for a lesser talented reliever, like Jason Fraser, who could leave as a free agent in a year. If they do deal Colvin I'd rather see it for someone like Heath Bell, who they could probably sign to an extension at a reasonable price. But I think there are several problems with getting Bell, the major one is, how much of a problem does it create with Marmol? If he went back to setup guy, would be have another crappy year?

But I think the Cubs would be a little crazy to trade Colvin right now. He's put on 20-25lbs of muscle. It's impossible to accurately project how much that will help his power without letting him start for at least half a season in the minors (or majors). It would be foolish to trade him and find out in a few months that the extra weight has turned him into a 20-25 hr guy.

I would think that in two-three seasons we could see something like Colvin in left, Jackson in center, and who knows in RF, perhaps Byrd in his final contract year. Soriano maybe plays 1b down the road, I just don't feel comfortable with Soriano's defense anywhere (and his bat isn't too hot right now, either).

The Cubs should consider drafting Elliot Ness

That would be the Chicago way.

Bench: Blanco, Colvin, Tracy, Hill, Nady. Please.

Let's get this straight....Marshall would be a better starter than Silva or Gorz, but because they both would definitely blow in the pen, Marshall is in the pen? Smarj makes the pen because he makes a lot of money??

How many stupid moves do the Cubs continue to make due to who makes how much money? It's like they completely ignore performance on the field.

Colvin wasting on the bench with Lou farting on him, will do him no good.

PAt Kane: GAME TIME! Beat those Coyotes!

It is not uncommon at all for the dude who gets the big bucks to be anointed a position ahead of someone more deserving. This is the state of professional sports, in general. What would be shitty, is when this moneyed player stinks it up and either blocks another or causes the parent club to decide that, "Well, we have a full roster now and can deal our surplus since we have no spots and can convert the inventory." On the football side, this is what happened to the Bears when Chris Harris got booted, a move that Jerry Angelo wishes he had back noting their abysmal secondary.

Its a "numbers and money" world, and the Wide Out was just a waste of money and a draft pick in my opinion, and now management feels compelled to stick with the wrong horse.

The draft pick wasn't a waste ... it was the accompanying salary and entitlement.

I do not agree. Drafting a player who is a better football player than a pitcher is a waste of a draft pick.

who is more deserving of a bullpen spot than Samardzija at this point though?

Well, to be fair, the team has been grooming him as a SP, not a reliever. He has two effective pitches. So I suppose that Samardzjia could get a spot unless someone else had really stepped forward other than Berg. I just do not know how Cardidad is going to work out. Just way too may ifs, one more time. I have seem this movie as much as AMC runs the Kingfisher.

Silva's jock.

Just what makes Marshall a superior rotational option, is it the 5.24 ERA he had as a starter last year or the 4.86 career number? (Gorgonzola's 5.40 in 2009/ 4.78 career)

I see your point, but how much emphasis do you put on career numbers versus how guys are playing right now? By all reports Marshall has pitched way better than Silva or Gorz yet they are both slated to start ahead of him? I know spring training does not equal regular season, but if you just go on historical stats alone, I am not sure that is the right approach. Guys do get better / worse.

I am actually going on how Gorzelanny finished the season, and the fact that he can K a better/inning. Marshall seemed to get worse as the season wore on last year, something that doesn't bode well if you're asking him to throw 160 innings.

Colvin should not make this team unless he is getting AB's. The 5th OF should be the guy that is better defensively. Fuld has not been the better OF in Spring, but he has more experience and he is better defensively. He can be the 8th inning Soriano replacement. Is Baker out of a job completely after coming in as the favorite to win the starting position.

colvin deserves to play everyday...and that's not the bigs unless someone gets injured sometime soon.

yes, he's hitting the hell out of everything and making great contact, but he's also swinging at a lot of stuff. guy isn't working counts out there.

not like i think he's gonna suddenly turn into a 80+ walk guy by spending some time in AAA, but it would probably do him good to see consistent pitching.

...not much at all wrong with his D, imo...

cj wilson gets the rotation spot he slammed the team in the press for a month ago. good for him. nice to see some teams can have a bossy jerk around without everyone crying their eyes out.

he complained about not being the closer last year...and about his teammates being uneducated the year before.

Wilson is white. Different situation.

i'm not even trying to go there, but he gets a lot of slack down in TX. i was blown away by his pre-ST demands that he deserves to be a starter after his few years of outspoken "woah, really?" stuff.

it's not like i think something should be done about it, but it doesn't seem to upset his locker room too much...or at least no one's complaining yet.


Submitted by crunch on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 11:30pm.

cj wilson (TEX) is being a little outspoken this spring...

"It's no secret I don't think I should be limited to the set-up role. I have too many weapons," said Wilson. "Here is the reality. It is real simple. There are not very many guys that have the stuff that I do that would be willing to sign here if they were free agents. There is no experienced pitcher that has my stuff that would sign here, historically."

...way to say you really really really really want to be that 5th starter, dude.

Samardzjia has not pitched his way onto the roster this spring. I hope this guy proves me wrong, but I think he should open the year in AAA.

but who has earned a bullpen spot over Ninja? He hasn't pitched that poorly in spring, one really bad outing only.

Marmol, Grabow, Berg and Caridad being in, plus Silva, Gorzelanny and Marshall having spots either in the pen or rotations that leaves:

Parisi, Russell, Gaub, Mateo, Samardzija for 2 spots?

and don't forget that most of the bullpen guys get into the games late and face the scrubs while Ninja has gotten the starters.

It's not ideal and a trade would be nice at the right price, although I also think there will be more cuts like Chad Gaudin available over the next week that the Cubs can grab for cheap. Jeff Gray should be ready as well relatively soon after the season starts.

Conceivably 3 weeks into the season, Gray and Lilly could be ready to push 2 guys back to Iowa or off the roster.

"but who has earned a bullpen spot over Ninja?"


I do not necessarily disagree with Rob, just indicating that this team is thin in relief pitching. Having Gray joining the team around the same time as Lilly is conceivable. I will be interested to see how Gray's velocity is affected by the injury and recovery. Regardless, I still think a trade is necessary. I think figuring what Samardzjia's role is going to be with this team is critical. He has been shifted from starter to bullpen so frequently, he has not had the ability to find a comfort level. If he is going to be in the bullpen, leave him in the bullpen. If he is going to start, then let him start and send him to AAA. Side Note: Anyone think that Pujols back issus will carry into the season? Or Aramis Ramirez? Ramirez was supposed to be out a few days and here he is 10 days later still not actually playing defense. A little concerning to me. The Chicago weather in April should help tight muscles too.

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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 18 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 31 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 3 hours 14 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 7 hours 59 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 8 hours 27 sec ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 17 hours 41 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 20 hours 39 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 20 hours 51 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 21 hours 39 sec ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 21 hours 6 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 21 hours 24 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 22 hours 34 sec ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 22 hours 18 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 22 hours 20 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 22 hours 37 min ago view