Friday, May 28, 2010

Lights out

It's been a couple days since a power outage made the lights go out at Wrigley Field, but Cubs pitchers seem intent on maintaining the theme, as Ted Lilly, Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol combined Thursday for the Cubs' second 1-0 shutout in three games.

The Cubs have a problem, and it's a great one to have--too many good starting pitchers. Tom Gorzelanny has pitched as well as anybody, and certainly better than Carlos Zambrano, yet all it took was one bad outing (though really it was more like just two bad innings) for the lefty to probably lose his starting spot to Zambrano. It's not fair to Gorzelanny, but we must assume that the Cubs will be shopping him as trade bait--unless Zambrano waves his no-trade clause and the Cubs can convince another team that the now former set-up man can still be an effective starter.

In the pen, Sean Marshall, having one of his most effective stretches as a Cub, appears to have solidified the wobbly eighth inning strategy, which actually could give the team reason to keep Gorzelanny to have another lefty option for other relief scenarios. However, it's also been reported that Andrew Cashner, who has been lights-out himself as a starter in the minors, has now been assigned to the bullpen. That seems to suggest a bullpen assignment with the big league club may not be far off.

Carlos Marmol has been better closing of late after a shaky but ultimately impressive outing in Texas last weekend, so from top to bottom, the Cubs pitching options are looking better by the day. We'll know when things aren't working again if Jeff Samardzija gets the call.

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