No decision has been made on what type of a role he will have long term with us. I will leave all of that up to Dr. Gryzlo and Dr. Yocum who are treating him for his shoulder injury. I will tell you that I think that if he is out for a while it is probably unrealistic to think that he will just go right back into the rotation when he returns. When you miss a few months with an arm injury you cannot just go right back to pitching six innings or more when you return so I would think that he would be in the pen when he does come back this season.” — Jim Hendry
I’m concerned enough about Andrew Casner’s ability to stay healthy in the rotation at this point that this is really the only decision that makes sense to me. Perhaps at some point down the road you revist this, but right now the goal has to be to keep him healthy. It would also be nice if the Cubs could extract some value of their 2009 first round pick and that’s probably not going to come from him as a starter. If the Cubs think his arm is healthy enough to start next season, then I suggest they give him some time in the minor leagues to get stretched out before putting him in the big league rotation.
The Cubs rotation moving forward will be Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Matt Garza (assuming he returns on time, which I’m skeptical of), Randy Wells and either Doug Davis or Casey Coleman. Speaking of Davis, a lefty, the Cubs currently have way too many lefties on their team. The Cubs have Sean Marshall, James Russell, John Grabow and Scott Maine currently in the bullpen. How many lefties do you need?
I can’t think of any reason the Cubs shouldn’t send down Maine and release John Grabow. Say what you want about Russell, but he’s dirt cheap. He’s also been effective in the bullpen though it’s a very small sample.