Earlier plans were to use Marquis as the Cubs’ fifth starter – well that appears to have changed folks. Marquis has allowed a lot of baserunners but he’s thrown a whole lot better than I expected; he has thusfar won the #4 spot. And Lilly and Hill are locks for the second and third spots. So who’s competing for the five hole? Prior, Miller and Guzman.

It appears as though that competition is down to two – Miller and Guzman. Miller has thrown respectably – despite velocity issues he has thrown the ball commendably with an 4.00 ERA. Nonetheless Miller has had seventeen baserunners in nine innings pitched – I would consider him lucky at this point.

Angel Guzman has been a real pleasant surprise, throwing effectively with a 2.84 ERA in 6.1 IP. Guzman needs two more stong appearances and I think he’ll have #5 locked up. Then Miller will be traded for a utility infielder and Prior will be sent to “extended spring training,” which is a polite way of saying that performance-wise he isn’t ready for the 25 man roster.

Another possibility is that Miller will throw adequately and Guzman will go to Iowa, where he and Prior will gun it out in case either Miller or Cotts fail. Cotts has been totally ineffective and might even end up being traded or in Iowa if he falters in April.

Some rather amusing news from Rotoworld about former Cub Neifi Perez:

Neifi Perez left Tuesday’s game in the third inning, saying he felt congested and ill.
Tigers fans complained of the same symptoms after he was acquired last year. Perez is day-to-day.

Here is a nice little picture that was given to us from the good people at Cubs Fun. It’s Neifi dancing an Irish jig. It makes me laugh everytime I see it.

BTW if you signed up for VTFB NCAA brackets get your picks in!!! You might want to consider sixth-seeded Vanderbilt as a darkhorse – on any given day they can beat any team in the nation; conversely, on any given day they can lose to any team. I like Georgetown better as a darkhorse for the national title though…

Update:Happy days here in Guitar Town! Vanderbilt just destroyed George Washington by 33 points. These guys have a history of going to the Sweet Sixteen, I just hope that this year will be yet another. Go Dores!

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