...And Thinking About Future Moves

I was all ready to write a different post on this topic. The post was going to be about the Cubs activating injured RP Scott Eyre when he's eligible to come off the DL this Saturday and subsequently sending down a position player, resulting in the Cubs carrying 13 pitchers (and how terrible of an idea that is). Lou had mentioned the possibility after yesterday's game and it seemed to be in the plans as late as this afternoon. But then after the "game" today, Jim Hendry seemed to shoot down the idea of carrying 13 pitchers. It seems as though Eyre, who's been on the DL since late March with a bone spur in his elbow, will in fact be activated on Saturday. So who, then, will be sent down?

Honestly, I was expecting Pie to get shipped out of town. Watching the games, he still just doesn't seem like he's comfortable swinging a bat a the major league level yet. I'm being more patient with him than most would be-he's proven he can murder minor league pitching and the only way to learn how to hit major league pitching is to get the opportunity to do so-but he just hasn't been getting it done of late. Further, word had come out that Ronny Cedeno had been taking balls in CF again (I thought they had given up on that?). I thought that was just preparation for being without a backup CF to Reed Johnson were Pie to get the ax.

Or so I thought. I read in this article today that "Pie seems to be making the changes at the plate that the Cubs have suggested. He was 4-for-11 on this road trip, and batting .321 in his last 11 games." Huh. Not bad. Looks like the kid will survive this round of cuts to hang around for a while longer. Good, I say, we need him up here getting as many ABs as he can.

But then the word came down that JH ain't cool with the 13 pitcher thang (thank God-it really is a stupid idea, especially given the defensive needs of this club). So that means a bullpen pitcher is on the block. Woody, Marmol, Howry, and Wuertz are all safe. So it's between Chad Fox and the Seans (Marshall and Gallagher).

Marshall has the most experience and has pitched decently, so he's probably safe. Fox and Gallagher both were just called up. I have no idea on earth why the Cubs recalled Fox, who hadn't pitched in the majors since 2005 before giving up the lead on Friday night, from Double A ball. I would guess that since Fox is 38 years, um, young, he doesn't have a lot to prove in the minors and that, therefore, the Cubs will keep him around a while to see what he has left in the tank (before DFAing his old ass before the end of the year-you heard it here first).

So Gallagher seems to be the guy to go back to Iowa. It's a little silly to yo-yo him like that when they could have just called up Chad Fox when the sent Rich Hill down and let Kevin Hart hang around until Eyre came back this weekend. But Gallagher won't be out of the Iowa rotation long and this way he can stay ready should he need to bump up to the rotation at some point soon.

Irregardless of what pitcher goes down, it seems like Lou is just itching to shake things up a bit. DeRosa has been struggling of late and was given both yesterday and today off ahead of tomorrow's off day for a bit of a mental break. All the articles in the Chicago papers are talking about "mixing it up" and the like. I'm guessing that just means that Ronny C, who has really been playing great thus far this year and has the 5th highest VORP on the team in only 60 ABs, is going to start seeing more regular PT at the expense of both DeRosa and TheRiot. But with the way things are going right now, who the eff knows.

UPDATE: May 8th. One further point from last night's post: The decision to skip Jason Marquis' turn in the rotation could end up hurting more than it helps. Today's off day is Marquis' scheduled day to pitch. But rather than bump everyone back a day due to the off day, Lou has chosen to skip Marquis' turn to line up our 3 best pitchers, Z, Lilly, and Dempster (?!) against the MLB's best Arizona Diamondbacks. In doing so, the need for a 5th starter comes up Tuesday against the Padres. After yesterday's debacle, who are we going to throw on Tuesday? I'm not convinced Lou knew who would throw Tuesday when he made this decision. But yesterday's game muddied that picture even further. You can go with Lieber, Marshall, or Gallagher. Word on the street, though, is that Marshall isn't stretched out enough to handle a start. And Gallagher seems the likely candidate to head back to Iowa with the activation of Scott Eyre. So Lou will either start Lieber on Tuesday, or we'll wait to recall Eyre until next Wednesday, letting Gallagher make a spot start, or send someone else down to recall Eyre and allow Gallagher to remain on the roster. It's amazing how one bad start (combined with Rich Hill's string of bad starts) can create so many problems.

Comment (1)

Lionel

May 8, 2008 at 9:54 AM

My sources tell me that it will be Lieber, but Lou's heading is spinning as much as the rest of ours. The corresponding move to bring up Stevie Iyre may be....Sean Marshall. When Hill was first demoted, Lou said that Lieber would take his spot for now, but wanted to give Marshall a shot as well. The only way that's possible is to get Marshall stretched out. That means a trip to Iowa. The Gallagher move keeps a long man in the 'pen. Ideally, Lou would like to have two lefties in the 'pen, especially now that they have only one southpaw starting. But, with Lieb's struggling, you may have to sacrifice that luxury for Marshall to get ready.