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Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



October 2011



A Love Note From Theo on the Rotation?

Written by , Posted in General

Let’s take a minute on this Monday morning to discuss the rotation as we anxiously wait Buddy’s post on possible rotation addition, Jeff Francis.

The question, as always, is short and to the point.

If you woke up tomorrow and there was a statement from Theo that read as follows, would you be able to trust?

Cub Fans,

My staff and I, after careful evaluation, have decided that our rotation for opening day will be:

1. Matt Garza
2. Ryan Dempster
3. Randy Wells
4. Andrew Cashner
5. Jeff Samardzija

Trust us, we know what we’re doing.

Love Always,

Theo & Jed

  • chris in illinois

    Cashner can’t handle the workload, so unless we want him on the DL again, he should be in the pen. Suh-mar-juh actually pitched well surprising everyone, I’d be loathe to mess that up, that and I don’t think he has the stuff to see batters a second time. How about a three year deal for Buehrle??

  • jeff warren

    Couldn’t take this list at face value. This list shows we need a #1 and a #4. I agree that Cashner needs to be brought along more slowly and Samardjiza is better out of the pen.

  • Doug S.

    Dear Theo,

    After “careful evaluation” you’re staying pat with the players we have? Uh-uh….Dempst is no better than a 3 on any rotation that has serious post season aspirations. Which is why you’re here, right? Staying pat isn’t going to work. Make some moves, do something, get somebody.

    Cubs Fan Doug S.

  • Katie

    I like Cashner in the ‘pen. He was solid there. Samardzija was pretty good for the last couple months in the ‘pen as well. I don’t want them as starters. But you have to work with what you have, and we don’t have much to work with.

  • Buddy

    I can’t see Cashner and the Shark as effective starters, but I think they both have a chance to be useful relievers in 2012. IMO the Cubs have to find at least two starters this offseason.

  • Norm

    Cashner threw 15 innings this season. I think he needs a year (or at least most of the year) to build up arm strength before determining if he can be a starter.

    Samardzija? I don’t think he’ll make it as a starter, but you never know until you try and a starter is more important than a reliever. Give it a shot.

  • Katie

    Didn’t we try Samardzija as a starter for a few games a couple years ago? I feel like we did and he was terrible…

  • terencem

    Other than Wells, I’m ok with that rotation for next season. Wells lost velocity on his fastball last season which is a very very bad sign. Samardzija reinvented himself last season
    (as did Garza, actually) and I’d be willing to give him one more chance. If Cashner is anything close to what he flashed last season, he’s good to go.

  • terencem

    Actually, I just remembered, Cashner is not available for the opening day rotation. I cannot remember the exact source but it is due to his rehabilitation. He won’t be able to throw full games on a regular basis until closer to mid-season.

  • chet

    I would like to see a trade of Marmol, while he still has value, and move Cashner to closer.

  • Dusty Baylor

    I would first soil myself, and then work on a plan.
    Samardzija was finally useful for a whole season as reliever, but still walked way too many guys. Ugh.
    Cashner agreed, will need a year in the bullpen most likely..and also, it’d be nice if they’d stop trying to put a square peg in a round hole with him. He could be an elite closer eventually. As a starter, he’s not been able to pitch more than 109 innings in a season.


    That would be an awful rotation, it would end up being like 2006 all over again, when we used 15 starters, and I can name them all: Wood, Prior, Zambrano, Maddux, Williams, Walrond, Marmol, Marshal, Mateo, O’Malley, Ryu, Rusch, Guzman, Miller, and Hill

  • Dusty Baylor

    BLPCB…I just threw up in my mouth a little..can we please not mention Les Walrond, or Jae Kuk Ryu this early in the morning?

  • Doc Raker

    I trust we won’t be winning much.

  • Eddie Von White

    I don’t think Theo would be able to sleep at night if that was his rotation. He is not the kind of guy who is going to settle for that kind of sub-mediocraty. He is going to start making a big splash very soon. I have never met anyone yet who takes on a new job and doesn’t make major changes right from the get-go. They always say they aren’t going to, but they always do…and that is what we are counting on.

  • Dusty Baylor

    So…is Theo said..ok we have:
    1. Garza
    2. ?
    3. Dempster
    4. ?
    5. Wells

    Who’s the Cubs best bet to fill those slots? Would they take a chance on Sabathia?

  • Jedi

    Nope, not good enough. Cashner has been hurt too much to give him a guaranteed spot. Samardzija’s numbers are great when he gets off the mound quickly, by the time he hits the 25 or so pitch mark he starts to get battered. He is a reliever, that shouldn’t change just because we don’t have 5 starters on the active roster.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Jedi=dead on


    I also agree with Jedi
    Eddie – Theo probably does want to make a splash, but I don’t think he wants to saddle the franchise with another awful contract. IMO, Sabathia will be an awful contract at the end. I would take a flier on Wilson though, he has very low mileage on his arm.


    Cheeseburger and Cheesecake Sabathia is due to break down very soon. I don’t know how he hasn’t yet. Plus he is obese. I remember looking at his contract when he was with the Tribe, he got a bonus for being under 20% body fat.


    Dusty – Tubby doesn’t make you barf?

  • mrbaseball2usa

    Jeff needs to be in the ‘pen. CJ Wilson needs to be in the rotation.

  • Dusty Baylor

    I don’t think I want to give CJ Wilson $100 million though.
    I’d almost rather pick up 2 lower end guys, and/or try to plug in some young pitchers next season. I think there are too many holes to contend right away, and Wilson is 31 already.
    I wouldn’t want to be in Theo’s shoes

    Wait..hell yes I would!! Lol.

  • I would be extremely distressed to see Theo and Jed announce next season’s rotation tomorrow. It could be that Garza, Dempster and Wells will be there, but there is still plenty of time for things to change.

    If Cashner and Samardzija are to be starters (and I would hope not), I would not expect that announcement until near the end of spring training.

    Finally, I do not understand the question.

    “If you woke up tomorrow and there was a statement from Theo that read as follows, would you be able to trust?”

    Would I be able to trust what? or is it who? I believe my answer would be that a Cubbie Occurrence had just occurred and that our new Theo was no longer competent, hence Boston’s willingness to let him go.

  • Mark in Toronto

    I can’t say I’d be happy to see that as our rotation. I can see Garza, Demp, and Wells in the rotation. Samardzija as a starter has been tried before without any success and he was half decent out of the pen last season and I’m still not sold on Cashner as a starter either, he also seems quite decent out of the pen though. I’d say we need to at least replace those two for the starting rotation be it through free agent signings or a trade.

  • Seymour Butts

    Once again my spam word is Heroin. Not real sure how that fits in a baseball theme.
    I’ll be happy to play Debbie Downer. Most of our banter involves thought lines that have some possibility of reality. This one does not. Not because this couldn’t be the opening day rotation, but because it could not be decided at this date.
    What can be said is that we figure to have Garza, Dempster and Wells in the rotation, with the other 2 slots to be earned in spring training. Like or dis-like Wells that’s where he will be if he’s in a Cub uniform in April.
    Now does anybody want to talk about Tim Tebow?

  • Doc Raker

    Seymour- We talk about the Cubs search for a World Series title, some may argue there isn’t much reality in that conversation. How did Tim Tebow do Seymour? Take the pins out of your Tim Tebow voodoo doll Seymour. Voodoo dolls are not based in reality.

  • Eddie Von White

    Tim Tebow seems to know how to win in spite of the talking heads.

  • Eddie Von White

    BLPCB – I think Theo will be smarter than we think when it comes to contracts. And I think good players and their agents will be more likely to seriously consider the Cubs with Theo here because he has a reputation for being committed to winning. I personally don’t care for Sabathia’s work ethic being overweight and all, but I think he still has more than a couple of good years in him.

  • Chuck

    Trust it? Sure. I trust that he looked at the options on the roster and this was the best he could do with what was on hand.
    He probably also thought “Crap. What the hell did I get myself into?”
    The rebuild will take time and it will hurt.

  • Chuck

    Who is this Tim Tebow you all speak of? Is he on the Marlins?

  • Dusty Baylor

    Tebow sucked for 55 minutes. He looked good the last 5 minutes. In OT, he did nothing….the Broncos D stripped the ‘fins QB and they kicked a 52 yarder to win.
    He showed something that’s for sure, but he still looked lost at times. He’ll get a good long look this season, that’s for sure.
    On the other side, the Dolphins are a horrible, horrible team. Wow.

  • Eddie Von White

    Tim Tebow seems to know how to win.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Lol…Tim Tebow….seems to know that his defense will strip sack the QB in their own territory, and that his kicker will make a 52 yarder because the coaches dont want him to eff it up trying to get closer.

  • Seymour Butts

    Not sure we know much more about Tebow that before. It’s hard to place an appropriate adjective on how sucktastic the Dolphins are this year.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Hmm…the Dolphins are…Sucktastic? Crapriffic?

    Bad. Just bad.

  • Norm

    Everyone was right about Tebow. Great character, great competitor, bad QB.

  • Doc Raker

    Was this Tebow’s first game? Give the guy some time, even the Mannings needed some time.

  • Been reading here for a while and decided to finally post.

    First, the last 5 minutes of the 4th quarter is most certainly Tebow Time. The other 55 minutes he’s a below average QB.

    As for the rotation…

    Garza is clearly your #1 and his advanced metrics place him somewhere between the 10th and 15th best qualified starter in baseball. Demp ended up in the Top 50 in most of those same metrics. If he can cut down on his walks and re-find the location of his splitter he’s a #3 on a good team.

    Those are the two spots penciled in.

    After that, you basically have…

    – Wells, who was a bad 5th starter last year
    – Cashner, who needs to prove he can throw 50 innings let alone 200
    – Shark, who had one good year in the pen
    – Prospects

    None of those guys are #2 material, Wells may be serviceable as a #5 and then you still need a #4 with an eye towards one of the guys mentioned above as a long reliever/emergency starter.

    The Cardinals are in the World Series with one really good starter, one above average starter, and two serviceable ones. The Brewers had something similar.

    Giants, Diamondbacks, and Phillies had 2-3 starters each in the Top 11 in WAR value.

    So, there seems to be two avenues to go about having a “good” rotation.

    Option A: Dominant #1, Good #2, Serviceable Guys #3-#5
    Option B: Dominant Top 2-3, hope and pray for the best after that.

    With what the Cubs have right now, I’d say Option A is probably the way to go.

  • mrbig

    Tebow has as many wins as Kyle Orton does this season. he won without Kyle Orton’s top target, Brandon Lloyd. Lol

  • Chuck

    I would like to see the Cubs try something different with the rotation. Something like the 4-man rotation where the starters go 5 or 6 and then it goes to the pen. Reintroduce the “long man” spot in the pen. Instead of a #5 starter have Marshall start and go one time through the lineup, then send in Shark for a turn, then some other guy.
    When the rotation is this bad, you have to get creative to compete.

  • Eddie Von White

    John Elway on Tim Tebow: “He’s got those intangibles that we see every time he plays,” former Broncos Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, now executive vice-president, told the Denver Post.

    “When that clock is ticking down and something’s got to happen, that’s what triggers the competitor in him.

    “He’s a guy that as long as there’s time on the clock, he’s going to give us a chance to win. Those are things you can’t coach,” he said.

  • Eddie Von White

    Chuck – That makes sense – bring out the best in each one and get them out of there before they self-destruct. I like the way you think.

  • Doc Raker

    Welcome ScottdubsSD,
    I would prefer option C: Dominant starter 1-5. I won’t hold my breath.
    Like Seymour said, most of our conversations are based in reality.

  • Randy

    Starting Pitcher: Hi, I’m a pitcher.
    Fans on Cubs Blog: Do you pitch like Bob Gibson?
    Starting Pitcher: As a matter of fact I am that good.
    Fans on Cubs Blog: Well, if you’re only that good you can be our number five pitcher, but personally I wouldn’t have you start for the worst team in the league.

    Perhaps we shouldn’t set our expectations too high here. I’m OK with that rotation if we can keep Shark in the pen and find a number five elsewhere. As bad as the Cubs are going to be next year, find yourself one of the many Rodrigo Lopez types out there to eat up 180 innings. Unlike most of you I think Wells had a pretty good year considering the injury. The development of his changeup bodes well for his future as a workhorse.

  • Doc Raker

    Welcome Randy or should I say Mr. Wells. I hope you are right and wish you a healthy and prosperous 2012 season.

  • Eddie Von White

    Good one, Doc.