Vote Hoffpauir / Gaudin '08

Solid, comprehensive rundown of the Cubs playoff roster choices Lionel. I'd add a few things (this started as a comment but I couldn't shut up, so here's my own post on the subject)...

One, I'd personally prefer to see Hoffpauir than Ward make the roster. I know where you're coming from with Ward, and I think you may be right, but I'm hoping Lou won't go Dusty Baker on us here with his "Yeah, he's 50 and terrible...but he has the experience!" To me, the best roster on the hitter side would be as you outlined, but having Pie and Hoffpauir, instead of Pie and Ward.

I think that Pie will definitely be on the roster, though. A guy with his defense and his speed is incredibly valuable in the playoffs. (See Roberts, Dave; BoSox, '04 ALCS). Without Pie, who can we turn to when we absolutely need to swipe a bag in a clutch situation? Cedeno? Fukudome? No thanks. Problem is, though, while he's fast, Pie hasn't proven to be a very good baserunner-in 7 minor league seasons only 117 SBs to 70 CS, a very low 63% sucess rate, and only 2 SBs for the Cubs this year.

On the pitching side, I'm mostly with ya. Howry is in-he's a big time RP, supposedly. Lou has soured on him and won't throw him in a big spot, but he's in. Marshall is in-Lou seems to both like and trust him, and his handedness punches his October ticket anyway. I think Samardzija is a lock, though, for this one reason: the Cubs think this guy shines brighter the bigger the stage. His numbers early in the year didn't necessitate a move up the organizational ladder, but they moved him up anyway. And kept doing so. And at each level increase, his numbers would improve. Kid's a rook. His first playoffs. In Chicago, not far from where he grew up. Pitching for the Chicago Cubs. 100 year drought, etc. Stage won't get much bigger. I think Hendry, Lou, and Rothschild will put him on the roster, run him out in a big spot, and see how he responds to the mounds of pressure. If he does well, he'll continue to get big situation IPs. If not, he may not be kept around the next round. But...on the final spot, I think Gaudin has a big argument to be made for a spot over Marquis. I could see either being the choice, but the team hates Marquis. They don't want to throw him. IF (IF!) Gaudin can prove he's healthy enough between now and the beginning of postseason, I wouldn't be surprised to see him get the nod. The only way they use Marquis is as a starter. They only need him as a starter if there's an injury. If there is an injury to one of the SPs, I think they use Marshall to spot start or throw someone on short rest during the first series and then add Marquis for the 2nd (I think you can add someone in a subsequent series if there's an injury).

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