Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Matt Garza (LOCK)
Ryan Dempster (LOCK)
(in no particular order)
Rodrigo Lopez (aka Dark Horse)
I think the early favorites for the No. 3 and No. 4 spots are Paul Maholm and Chris Volstad, but that could change quickly.
Volstad has thrown six scoreless innings this spring, striking out four and walking none.
That means the fifth spot comes down to Wells, Samardzija, and Wood. Here's what their stat lines look like, respectively:
0.00 ERA, 2.2 IP, 1 K (only pitched once so far)
1-0 W-L, 3.00 ERA, 6-0 K-BB, 6 IP
1-0 W-L, 3.86 ERA, 1-2 K-BB, 2.1 IP (also only pitched in one game)
It will be interesting to see how things play out for these three throughout the rest of spring, along with spots filling up in the bullpen.
If no one can support Kerry Wood in setting up for Marmol, and Wood or Wells appear capable of holding down the spot, then it would make sense if Samardzija lands in the pen.
However, I don't see that happening.
T. Wood has one more option, meaning he can be sent to the minors one more time before having to clear waivers. It worked well for Samardzija, as he was out of options coming into 2011, and the same effect could be felt at the end of 2012 or for 2013.
I view Randy Wells the same way I view Glendon Rusch from 2004-2005.
Rusch was a great spot starter, practically splitting his time between starts and relief appearances in those two seasons.
Wells is durable and could easily be a spot starter or an innings eater if one of the back end pitchers struggles. This will allow him to focus more on keeping the ball down, and situational pitching.
I'm pulling for Samardzija in this one. He is fierce and wants to prove everyone wrong.