Well we’re less then three weeks away from Opening Day and already some of us have had the blues because of yet another rash of devastating injuries to our pitching staff. But there might now be some light at the end of the tunnel – Kerry Wood supposedly looks real strong in rehab and there are a few young players who look like they might belly up to the table and save the season. Here’s who could save the Cubs’ season by coming up strong for the club in April:
Now most of us know who this guy is – history might look on the Cubs/Redsox trade of 2004 and call Nomar a toss-in. Murton has done nothing except hit at every level – AA West Tenn, Iowa, Arizona Fall League and the Senior Circuit. Matt is now hitting to the tune of a .556 on base percentage and a .710 slugging percentage in spring training. This guy is ready and I would rate him as an integral part of the Cubs future.
Sean has quietly stepped to the forefront in Mesa and that is awful hard to do when you are a 6-7 lefthander. Bothered by shoulder stiffness last year, 24 year-old Marshall has never pitched higher than AA ball. But he and his twin brother were dominant as a starter/reliever pair at Virginia Commonwealth and, despite his reputation for having a great changeup I think his out pitch will be a sharp-biting curveball. Sean has been solid at camp so far this year and looks like our best shot as the fifth starter.
Ryu Jae-kuk was signed by the Cubs as a 17 year-old after striking out 20 of the 21 batters he faced in his last high school game in Seoul, Korea. Now 21, he has grown two inches and stands at 6-3; he throws three pitches over the plate and tops out in the mid-nineties. Many people remember the unfortunate incident with the Osprey at Daytona, but despite that moment of immaturity Jae-kuk was voted West Tenn’s most popular player last year by the fans. I see nothing but upside for this kid, he’s only going to get better.
So despite the gathering clouds we still have some kids that can come through for us – only time will tell.