Comcast is promoting a story on “the Bonehead Merkle play” later. Can you not say Murkle’s Boner on Comcast Sports Night Chicago?
Anyway, instead of doing the beloved PS3 stuff quite yet, let me get this out of my head.
01 LF Soriano
02 SS The Riot
03 1B D Lee
04 3B A Ram
05 CA Soto
06 RF DeRosa
07 CF Edmonds
08 2B Fontenot
09 OF Johnson
10 IF Cedeno
11 SP Z!
12 SP Harden – the debate about the order for the playoffs is a fun one, but for when the match is known
13 SP Dempster
14 SP Lilly
15 RP Marquis – earned it, one of the 11 best, even useful off the bench!
16 CL Wood
17 RP Marmol
18 RP Marshall – hopefully can adjust back to being a reliver, even though he’s starting again this week
Highly likely, but with a slight chance
19 CA Blanco – they do keep on playing Hill instead of him, which would be a concern if he was not Hank White
20 1B Ward – if they didn’t need many lefties, if Micah got real hot and Ward looked really immobile..
21 RP Cotts – if Marshall was really good, if Cotts was really not, if they didn’t need a second lefty…
Almost spiraled right off the list
22 RF Fukudome – even past being benched, lots of speculation about IF he could be dropped (would you do that to a guy in the first year of THAT contract?) but got a couple hits at the right time. Unlikely to get starts but still bringing the defense.
If he’s healthy, he’s playing
23 RP Gaudin
It’s the one really bad outing versus the Nats (2 IP, 6 ER) that obscures how effective Chad’s been on this team. I’m sure he’ll be used extra amounts to size him up and get him ready for the playoffs, but the hope is he’s the 7th inning to Marmol’s 8th and Wood’s 9th. If the back is fine, even a bad week won’t keep off the roster.
the spots on the line this week
24 OF Pie or PH Hoffpauir
There’s no reason to bring 12 pitchers for a short series, and it’s not as if there’s 12 pitchers the Cubs really want to have right now. The bench gets an extra spot, and there’s really only the two lefty outfielders as candidates. I think Lefty is the key; the Cubs will always have Ward waiting to go as lefty PH, and either Fontenot or (more likely) Fukudome will also be on the bench from the left side, so you don’t have to have another guy who’s going to bring most of his value from hitting. With 14 hitters, the Cubs can afford to use Pie in the role he’s had the most success in his major league career (pinch runner), and he gives Lou more options for his 2B/RF/CF rotations. It’s hard to believe, as bad as he’s been buried this season, but Felix Pie is going to the playoffs.
Cubs are never going to want to pinch hit for Soto, so a third catcher is pointless. Casey McGehee is actually the only other hitter on the active roster and hasn’t been given serious ABs.
25 RP Howry or RP Samardzija or even someone else
All Jeff Samardzija is doing in the strike zone is fastballs, and everyone’s caught on
All Bobby Howry is doing in the strike zone is fastballs, and everyone’s caught on (and they’re not as fast)
Kevin Hart is kinda the same way.
Michael Wuertz isn’t even getting it in the strike zone.
Angel Guzman hasn’t been effective, and can’t pitch often enough. It’s nice that he got back to Chicago, but he’s not ready this year.
So, yea, if Randy Wells lit it up sometime in this last week…
It’s really either Howry or Samardzija, and the way they’re giving Howry every chance to get in, they really want him to show enough to justify going with the veteran. But he could just as well dig his own grave.
I don’t think the Cubs know what they’re doing with this spot and are hoping someone makes the decision for them. I’d prefer Marquis got in the game before whoever ends up in this spot. Bullpen depth was a big plus earlier in the season, but they definitely dropped a gear.