Cubs

Another fan's take on the Cubs' 2012 rotation

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Another fan's take on the Cubs' 2012 rotation

It's been a very busy offseason so far for the Cubs as they locked up their dream front office, a group that has stressed run prevention above all else.

To this point, however, that front office has yet to make any changes to the team's pitching staff.

In a conversation last week with my friend Cubs Enthusiast Billy, we were discussing the potential starting rotation for the Cubs next year and it gave me an idea: I wonder how all the fans think the rotation will shake out next season.

Theo Epstein has already said he wants to have as many as nine starting pitcher options, which makes the five-man rotation hard to predict. Throw in injuries and potential ineffectiveness and it's near impossible.

But we can have fun anyways and still throw out our projections.

We've already examined Cubs Enthusiast Billy's guess for the rotation. Now let's take a look at the first commenter's rotation.

Here is my cousin Matt's projected starting five:

1. Matt Garza
2. Ryan Dempster
3. Yu Darvish
4. Joe Saunders
5. Tim Wakefield

This is Matt's best-case scenario and if things shake out like this, he believes Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner will just miss out on the rotation.

It's a really interest starting five. Garza and Dempster are shoe-ins as long as they're healthy and still on the roster.

The Cubs definitely bid on Yu Darvish but their level of interest in, as Patrick Mooney called him, baseball's international man of mystery is still unknown.

Let's just pretend he comes to the Cubs. A four or five-year deal would be pretty likely. While Darvish may be projected more as a No. 2 (or No. 1 on some teams), he could slot in behind Garza and Dempster in the Cubs' rotation and could ease the transition into the American game. If Darvish is as successful as some people think, that'd be a heck of a No. 3.

Saunders would also be a very good No. 4. He's consistent and reliable and would provide the rotation with a left-handed arm.

Wakefield is old and at the end of a great career, but he's shown he could still be effective, even in the AL East. Imagine a move to the NL Central that just lost Albert Pujols and may be without Prince Fielder as well as Ryan Braun if he serves a 50-game suspension.

Old man Wakefield could also find himself in the bullpen and the Cubs could give Wells another chance or give Cashner a shot to strut his stuff after his attempt at the rotation was muffed last year with a bad shoulder injury.

The Cubs may still be far away from a playoff team, but a rotation like this would put them a lot closer. Adding Darvish, Saunders and Wakefield to the slew of starting options they already have would be a welcome addition, even if Wakefield made his professional debut before Matt was even born.

Do 'Yu' (sorry, had to be done) have a prediction for the Cubs' 2012 starting rotation? Comment in the section below with your projection of the five Opening Day predictions and I'll discuss each and every rotation comment here on CubsTalk.

Cubs add another pitcher to the bullpen mix

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USA TODAY

Cubs add another pitcher to the bullpen mix

A few hours before the 2020 Cubs Convention kicked off, Theo Epstein's front office was hard at work adding another pitcher to the bullpen mix.

It's not a big name fans are itching for, but the Cubs acquired right-handed pitcher Casey Sadler from the Dodgers Friday afternoon. The Cubs sent minor-league infielder Clayton Daniel to LA in return. 

Sadler, 29, was designated for assignment by his former team earlier in the week. He has 42 career MLB appearances under his belt, 33 of which came last season between the Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays (1 start). 

Sadler performed well in 2019, posting a 4-0 record, 2.14 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, but only had 31 strikeouts in 46.1 innings. He had more success missing bats in Triple-A, with 12.3 K/9 in 38.2 innings last year.

This brings the Cubs' 40-man roster to 39 with a little less than a month before pitchers and catchers report to spring training. The move fits the theme of the offseason where Epstein and Co. are taking fliers on all the buy-low pitchers they can as a volume-game approach to building a pitching staff.

Sadler is out of minor-league options, so he should get a shot at cracking the big-league bullpen out of camp.

At the moment, Craig Kimbrel, Rowan Wick, Kyle Ryan and Brad Wieck look like the only locks for the Opening Day bullpen, but a host of others will be in the mix in Arizona, including:

Ryan Tepera (free agent)
Trevor Megill (Rule 5 pick)
Dan Winkler (free agent)
CD Pelham (waiver pickup)
Brandon Morrow (minor-league free agent)
Duane Underwood Jr. (out of minor-league options)
Alec Mills (out of options)
Adbert Alzolay
Dillon Maples
James Norwood

There's a lot of question marks that comes with building a bullpen out of that group, especially considering the proven names the Cubs lost from last year's club (Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Brandon Kintzler).

Daniel, 24, was the Cubs' 31st-round pick in 2018 out of Jacksonville State University. He reached Double-A Tennessee last season and hit .305 with a .799 OPS, 2 homers and 21 RBI in 67 minor-league games a year ago.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Cubs convention will feel different this year

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Cubs convention will feel different this year

Jeff Nelson, Tim Stebbins, and Tony Andracki fill in for host David Kaplan as they discuss how different this year's Cubs convention will be compared to previous years and how awkward it will be for Kris Bryant and other players who could be traded before the season. They also get into baseball's cheating issue, and Tony Andracki makes a huge announcement.

(1:08) - Different feel at Cubs Con

(3:10) - Cubs putting Kris Bryant in an awkward spot

(4:44) - Anthony Rizzo says he might not be a Cub long term

(6:33) - How will Cubs fans show displeasure at Cubs Con

(10:24) - What will it take for Sammy Sosa to be accepted by the Cubs

(13:54) - Baseball's cheating scandal is spreading

(20:07) - Tony Andracki's BIG announcement

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

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