The playoffs often reveal any weakness a team has. In the 2008 playoffs, the Cubs showed they have a lot of weaknesses. While most will point to the lack of bats in that series, the Cubs staff struggled as well.
What the past has taught us about the starters for the Cubs:
Ryan Dempster is not an ace. Don’t get me wrong he had a wonderful year. He is an over achiever which is a good thing but allow him to be one of the best No. 2’s in the National League.
Carlos Zambrano is not an ace either. He can be an ace and has ace stuff. However, he lacks the dependency needed from an ace of the staff.
Ted Lilly is a solid No. 3. He has occasional blow ups, but as far we have seen he is good for 15 wins, all you can ask from a No. 3. The ERA has room for improvement and a few less long balls would tighten up his role.
Rich Harden will start a max 25 times. Any more, take as added value but his track record shows he performs the best when healthy and well rested.
Sean Marshall is a reliever at most. Jeff Samardzija has starter stuff and the ability to rise to the occasion.
The Cubs need a proven ace. In short, the Cubs need Peavy. Without any additions to the current roster the Cubs are loaded with a staff of No. 2’s and 3’s, but no ace.
The nice thing about Spring Training is that it is almost a certain that there will be different faces in the staff come summers end. Injuries, acquisitions, and the occasional finding of a diamond in the rough are the products of a long season.
I would like to see the Cubs platoon Harden and Samardzija. This can save Harden’s arm and build Samardzija’s. Leave Marshall in the pen. He has yet to prove he can last in the starting rotation.
Let’s see what the fresh blood can do in Spring Training and have the fifth spot open for competition.
With all seriousness you can never have too many good arms in a staff.
It’s easy to sit here and write this article without having to stress over things like salaries, new ownership, and possible depletion of the minor league system. I do want to challenge the Cubs to take every move the can to make this team the best team in baseball leave no stone unturned and no trade left on the table!