UPDATED: Cashner Wins; Silva Loses

Hmm... Soto seems happy.
Just about everyone in the city is talking one thing: Carlos Silva has lost, Andrew Cashner will be the Cubs fifth starter.

Per Bruce Miles, out rotations should shake out like this:
Starters (all RH)
Ryan Dempster
Carlos Zambrano
Matt Garza
Randy Wells
Andrew Cashner

Closer RHP Carlos Marmol
RHP Kerry Wood
RHP Marcos Mateo
RHP Jeff Samardzija
LHP Sean Marshall
LHP John Grabow
LHP James Russell
I'll be honest: I'm glad Andrew Cashner got the nod, but I'm not happy as whole how the staff turned out. I honestly think Carlos Silva would have made a solid bullpen candidate. John Grabow is at best a LOOGY, and it appears James Russell may be too (I'd need to check his minor league numbers to be sure). Given the history of success, I'd take Grabow over Russell, but Silva over Russell also.

Also, Jeff Samardzija has been crushed at about every level in his career. At some point the Cubs need to pass him through waivers (I'm pretty sure he'd make it) or take their lumps and cut him. He's not ready for the MLB yet, unfortunately.

That's two relievers who I believe Silva could have out performed. Silva gets good ground balls and could have served as Sean Marshall's caddy, coming in to collect key double plays when the lanky lefty is tired.

Oh well, maybe someone would be willing to send something our way for this 32 year old failed starter with a reputation for being combative.

UPDATE: It's become official now; the Cubs released Carlos Silva.

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  1. Brad, I honestly have no idea why James Russell made the team. I just don't see any evidence that he is one of the 12 best pitchers the team had in camp.

    Perhaps Silva would be the better choice for his roster spot, but Hendry has insisted that the team's sole motivation is to break camp with their 12 best pitchers, so they obviously just don't think Silva's one of them. You'd like to believe that decision wasn't made based solely on his numbers this spring, but either way, isn't really sad to see him go.

    However, I think Samardzija is deserving of this last shot at sticking with the big club. Unless he starts to get shelled and the Cubs keep him around for too long, I don't see much downside in giving him one more shot to make good on the investment made in him. FWIW-- I thought he looked OK in his last outing in spring. ESPN's radar gun would have their audience believe he was consistently 92-93 mph, which he can survive at.

  2. I would take Casey Coleman, Jeff Stevens, or Scott Maine before James Russell.

  3. Fair points Jack, but I highly doubt Samardzija will suddenly find success at the big league level after being -- at his best moments -- an average pitcher in the minors.

    Also, I agree on the Coleman, Stevens, and Maine point. Silva contract would have been his edge over those guys, in my opinion, but I would have had those guys up instead of Samard. and Russell.

  4. I think the goal was to stretch Casey Coleman out as a starter, as sort of an insurance. Maybe they're doing the same with Scott Maine because he has better stuff than Russell, who's not much more than a batting tee. When they announced Russell to be in their fifth starter competition, I didn't know what they were thinking...but it makes sense to me to convert the better pitchers to starters and not waste time trying to fix Russell.

  5. Good points Kin. I too was shocked with Russell's name popped up in the competition.