Though this year is a wash for the Cubs, there is always next year. Though the Ricketts family has indicated that they would like to cut payroll, perhaps a 5th stater may pop up in free agency, or perhaps the big prize, Cliff Lee.
Jake Westbrook, Vicente Padilla, Dontrelle Willis, and Bronson Arroyo are notable free agents in 2011. Not only would they improve the the Cubs, they would weaken the opponents the Cubs face. Of course, the big prize in all of this is Cliff Lee.
Silva had a record first half for the Cubs, but had cardiac problems on August 1 in Colorado, and has been on the DL since. Cashner started out well in the bullpen, but has faltered since after the All Star Break. Coleman had a great start against Washington going 6 and 1/3 innings with one run allowed. If Coleman can keep this up for the rest of the year, I give the slight nod to him based on his health.
The sinkerballer has had a dissipointing 2010 season, after a stellar 2009 season. He has been inconsistent this year and is the reason why I keep him #4 in the Cubs rotation.
The reason why I give him an edge in the #3 spot is that he has done everything asked of him. He'll give you five solid innings, or come in and do three out of the bullpen or even in Seatle this year, save a game. He does lose control sometimes and is prone to the walk.
Textbook definiton of a #2 starter. Will give you 6 strong innings every time out and has great control. He has not gotten his due the last few years with the inconsistent run support. He has kept his ERA under 3.75 the past three years, and is the anchor of this rotation.
Yes, the same Zambrano that throws temper tantrums has been the Cubs opening day starter for six years prior to 2011, they're paying him to do it, so let him have it. Or else trade him. He can go throw a no-hitter, or he can throw a tantrum. The organization has to have faith that Zambrano will not throw tantrums and give him the support he needs. If the unlikely event the Cubs sign Cliff Lee, everyone is bumped down one.