By Friday the Chicago Cubs will have already been downed two starting pitchers; Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner.
Wells has a right forearm strain, while Cashner has a strain in the back of his rotator cuff. After two MRI's, neither player showed any structural damage. Both will be put on the DL by weeks end and are expected to be sidelined nearly a month.
This is a disastrous opening scene to the 2011 Cubs performance, as starting off strong is very important to the team and fan's morale. After the first five games, the Cubs gained their first winning record since they rounded up their 2009 campaign.
A blow this strong at the start of the season could derail Chicago's northsiders enough as to where they will struggle to regain the opportunity to make the playoffs by season's end.
To replace the injured pitchers, the Cubs will recall Casey Coleman from Triple-A Iowa to take over Randy Well's position, and likely will promote current left-handed reliever James Russell to the fifth slot in the rotation.
The 23-year-old Coleman has a lifetime ERA of 4.11, while his also young teammate Russell has a 4.76 ERA in his young career, although he has not given up a run during his two innings of work in 2011.
On the bright side for Chicago, this will give the two young gunslingers an opportunity to show off their stuff. A good showing could give Coleman a chance at a consistent relieving job in the majors, possibly outdoing pitchers such as John Grabow or Jeff Samardzija.
It may be a shame for the Cubs to lose both these pitchers while hitters such as Alfonso Soriano are beginning to pull their weight, who has already gone yard three times this young season, but it is also a chance for the fans to view their young talent and future mound-dwellers.
With a few good showings, this could end up being a devastating and disastrous hidden miracle in Wrigley.
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