Ryan Dempster provided a solid spring training debut – pitching 2 scoreless innings retiring all 6 batters that he faced in the Cubs 10-3 win over the Oakland A’s on Monday. This is good news for a Cubs pitching staff that is dealing with its share of troubles. The Cubs should be good at the front end of the starting rotation once Ted Lily returns, but the 5th starter spot and the bullpen could have some issues. A good Dempster showing in 2010 will mean some stability that should help keep the Cubs bullpen fresh and ready for a grueling 162 game MLB schedule.
Sean Marshall worked 2 innings giving up 1 run on a solo home run and 1 other hit.
Jeff Samardzija worked 2 scoreless innings giving up 1 hit and 1 walk in the process.
Tom Gorzelanny gave up 2 runs on a home run in his 2 innings of work.
Marshall, Samardzija and Gorzelanny (along with Carlos Silva) are competing for the final starting slots in the rotation. The other 2 will likely end up in the bullpen and once Ted Lilly returns, a 3rd out of the group will get dropped back into the bullpen or sent to Triple-A to continue working as a starter.
Two good hitting performances in the game – Ryan Theriot was 2 for 2 with 2 runs scored, while Mike Fontenot was 2 for 3 with 2 RBI’s and 1 run scored. Kosuke Fukodome had another hit in the 2-hole behind Theriot and is hitting .500 during the first few games of spring.
Manager Lou Pinella has gotta be happy with some of these performances…