Jeff Stevens is eager to show his stuff this spring and hopefully land a spot in the Cubs crowded bullpen. Stevens is competing with the likes of Esmailin Caridad, Justin Berg, Angel Guzman, Mike Parisi and Jeff Gray. Four pitchers vying for 2 spots in the starting rotation could also land in the bullpen at the start of the 2010 season depending on how that competition turns out – Tom Gorzelanny, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Silva.
Stevens came over from the Indians in the Mark DeRosa trade, and spent most of the season at Triple-A Iowa. Stevens did make 11 appearances for the Cubs at the major league level, and although he posted a high 7.11 ERA, he held the other team scoreless in 7 of his outings. Now that he is a little more comfortable in the Cubs organization, Stevens is excited for Spring Training 2010 in Mesa where he can showcase his stuff. “Last year I was trying to make a good impression. I was new coming, coming over in the trade. It’s a little different now because I know everybody, people have seen how I pitch. You definitely want to come in and make a good impression.”
Let’s hope one or two of these guys really steps it up in 2010 to help out Carlos Marmol and John Grabow in the bullpen. A few of these guys have talent, so if they can provide consistent and reliable bullpen work during the course of the long MLB season, that could mean good things for the Cubs in 2010.