Monday, March 8, 2010

If this Angel can't stay healthy or stop the rain, then we should move on.

Three days it has rained during spring training so far.

And there are chances for rain the next two days in Mesa (according to my phone).

Both games were rained out yesterday.

What's up for today?

Well, the Cubs are playing the A's in Oakland's crappy little stadium in Phoenix.

I believe Dempster is scheduled to start today...but with the rainouts yesterday, who knows.  At the very least expect yesterday's starters, Spellcheck and Sloth, to get a few innings in.


The injuries are really starting to mount for the Cubs right now.

As I mentioned yesterday, Guzman will be out for a while, and it sounds like he might opt for surgery to fix the tear in his shoulder.  If that happens, Guzman will likely be done for the season.

I like Guzman.  He's a good kid...but he has just been unable to stay healthy.  And Guzman is not a kid anymore.  He is 28 years old.  The Cubs signed over ten years ago at age 18.  He was considered one of the team's top prospects for a number of years.  But his career is very much going the same way as Kerry Wood and Mark Prior's have gone.  (Hey, Prior is still available for any team to pick up!)

It appears that the Cubs actually were counting on him being healthy this season, especially if you look at the way the bullpen is constructed right now.  It's time to let go of hope that this Angel will ever actually help us out.

If Guzman opts for surgery, it very well could mean the end of his career.  Any time a player has surgery to repair a ligament tear in that area, I question whether or not that player will ever come back. It does sound like the Cubs are pushing him to try to do a more conservative rehab for 4 to 6 weeks to see if the shoulder shows any improvement.  At that point, Guzman will be re-evaluated.  But he is going to talk to Dr. James Andrews...(the butcher of many a shoulder!) for a second opinion on the whole thing. 

To me, it sounds like the Cubs are desperate to try to get Guzman back on the field.  Unless the Cubs were to find another pitcher either via trade or free agency, they cannot afford another injury in the bullpen.  Period.

As it stands right now, if the Cubs go with 12 pitchers, the bullpen would look something like this:
  • Marmol
  • Grabow
  • a bunch of crap
That's seriously, the other 5 relievers would be something like this:
  • the one that doesn't make the starting rotation out of these 3:  Marshall, Gorzelanny, Samardzija
  • Jeff Gray (who is hurt right now)
  • Jeff Stevens (who was torched on Saturday)
  • Mike Parisi (forced to be on the 25 man roster because he's a rule 5 pick)
  • And one of these guys:  Mitch Atkins, Justin Berg, Esmailin Caridad, John Gaub, David Patton
If Guzman and Lilly were healthy, this would probably look a lot different, but we aren't going to see either of these guys until May at the earliest. 

Stevens and Gaub were part of the Mark DeRosa trade.  It would be nice if these guys could show us that trading DeRosa was worth it.  Jeff Gray was acquired in the Jake Fox deal (and Aaron Miles...but Miles was basically given away as the Cubs are still paying a significant part of his salary).  Patton was last year's rule 5 handcuff as Parisi will likely be this year.  Atkins pitched in 2 games last season.  Berg was ok last year.  Caridad, besides having a weird name, pitched well last season for the Cubs in 14 appearances. 


Happy Monday.