Lou Pinella finally made up his mind – Tom Gorzelanny’s stellar start in the Cubs 7-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday made it easy. Gorzelanny tossed 6 innings – the longest outing by any Cubs starter this spring – giving up just 2 ER on 5 hits and 1 walk. He struck out 4 batters and he lowered his ERA to 3.07.
As for his chances of being tabbed a starter, Gorzelanny had this to say about his start — “I felt I was in the zone a lot and I wasn’t trying to overthrow and I wasn’t trying to do too much. I felt I made some major strides today. There’s always more to do and more to work on… All I can ask for is to pitch well and I hope that’s the case. Wherever they need me, I’ll do my best. If I get to be in the rotation, I’ll run with it and try to claim a spot and keep it — that’s my objective right now.” Well the consistency of his last 2 outings made it that much easier for Pinella to go with him and Carlos Silva as his 2 final starters when camp breaks at the start of April.
The other 2 starters in contention were Sean Marshall and Jeff Samardzija and both with start the season in the Cubs bullpen. As I called it at the beginning of spring training and just 2 days ago, I figured Pinella would tab Marshall and Samardzija for the bullpen. Both have had success in the bullpen, while Silva and Gorzelanny have had little experience pitching in relief. Even if Marshall and Samardzija had been pitching a lot better than Silva and Gorzelanny, I still fill like Pinella would have tabbed Silva and Gorzelanny for the final 2 starting spots in the rotation. Jeff Gray, Marcos Mateo and John Gaub were each sent down to the minor leagues as well.
I guess we’ll see how this all shakes out. Luckily we’ll only have to see Silva and Gorzelanny in the starting rotation for a few weeks until Ted Lilly returns. Any longer than that, and the Cubs could find themselves in a bit of a hole in 2010 right out of the gate…