We are officially 10 days away from the launch of the 2011 Cubs season.  Spring training is in full bloom and some questions are starting to find answers.

Below you will find the first installment of Five Burning Questions for the 2011 season.  We like to know your thoughts on the issues, so feel free to respond in the comments section with your answers.

Question #1 (multiple choice)

If you were GM of the Cubs what would you do with Carlos Silva?

a) Release him

b) Give him the five spot in the rotation and see what he can do

c) Move him to the bullpen

d) Fake an injury and put him on the 60 day DL….over and over again

I go with “A”.  If the Mets can dump multiple players and pay them out then we can do the same.  I am pretty sure Silva’s 15.88 ERA scared off even the most desperate of trade partners.

Question #2

Mike Quade was recently quoted as saying he’s had a few “healthy arguments” with Jim Hendry and Randy Bush.  The arguments center around the players being considered for the opening day roster and which ones need to be sent down to minor league camp.  Occasionally, they don’t see eye to eye on who should be playing.  This sets up my question…..

Is Jim Hendry pulling the strings in the dugout, or does it seem that Mike Quade and his coaching staff have full reign?

I am sure this is a delicate balance, but to me it seems Jim has a tighter grasp on this team then he did when Piniella was manager.  I just hope when  it comes time to manage Hendry doesn’t pull an Al Davis and start calling the plays from the box. 

Question #3

It was rumored (lightly) that the Cubs might sign Luis Castillo after he was released by the Mets this past week.

Considering the Cubs current situation at 2nd base would you have given Castillo a shot?

The Cubs did not sign him and I think they got this one right.  See why in the next question……

Question #4

Based on last season and what we have been witness to so far this spring, who should be the Cubs opening day 2nd baseman?

You would not have convinced me of this two weeks ago, but I would go with Darwin Barney.  I honestly thought Blake DeWitt was a break out star waiting to happen, but I am starting to realize he may just be a flop of sorts.  The once first round draft pick of the Dodgers has had a rough spring batting below the Mendoza line.  You have to reward production, right?

Question #5

Rank the following by order of likelihood…..

a) The Cubs finish the season with 87 wins and make the post-season as the NL Central champs.

b) The Cubs finish the season with 90-plus wins and make the Post-Season as NL Wildcard team.

c) The Cubs finish in last place in the NL Central

d) The Cubs battle until September but fade and are denied a Post-Season birth

D,C,A,B……I see a good fight but no playoffs.

Link of the Week: Cot’s Baseball Contracts

For those who don’t know this is a handy little site when in search of contract information.

That will do it from the corner this week.  Let us know what you think!

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Chet West is an IT professional living in Minneapolis, MN with his wife and two daughters. He has a pug named Banks and loves photography. Follow him on Twitter @chetwest19