Tag Archive | "David Patton"

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Could Cubs Make Play for Starter Ben Sheets?

Posted on 12 January 2010 by Lou

Ben Sheets is still on the market and the longer this drags on his asking price could continue to come down.  So far, it doesn’t appear that anyone is in a bidding war for the often-injured starting pitcher, so who knows – maybe he could find himself pitching on the North Side at Wrigley Field after spending most of his career pitching just north of the Illinois border in Milwaukee.

Sheets’ “handlers” have indicated that the pitcher is looking for a 2-year deal worth about $10-12 million per year.  Given where the Cubs are right now payroll-wise, that seems like way too much money to take a flyer on an injury risk like Sheets.  Sheets did not pitch at all in 2009 because he ended up testing the free agency market after the 2008 MLB season and then discovered he needed surgery in January to repair torn flexor tendon in his right throwing elbow.  Sheets could have come back for a contender at the end of the 2009 MLB season, but he decided to take a full year off to fully heal the injury.  In 2008, Sheets pitched 198 1/3 innings in 31 starts, going 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA.

The Cubs expect their 2010 MLB payroll to hit $140 million.  They have $125 currently committed and still have 8 arbitration-eligible players who will get raises in 2010.  The Cubs have 3 starters inked in for the start of the 2010 MLB schedule – Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells.  Ted Lilly had surgery in early November to repair his left throwing shoulder and will be evaluated this weekend in Chicago to set a timetable for his 2010 start – hopefully by early-to-mid May.  Four Cubs players will compete for the final 2 starting spots – Carlos Silva, Tom Gorzelanny, Jeff Samardzija and Sean Marshall.  As for the bullpen, the Cubs are set with closer Carlos Marmol and lefty-set-up man John Grabow.  The Cubs still need a veteran right-handed set-up man to complement Grabow, as the rest of the bullpen is very young – Angel Guzman, David Patton, Esmailin Caridad and Justin Berg.

We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything new out of Cubs camp…

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Carlos Marmol – Closer – But Where Does That Leave the Rest of the Bullpen

Posted on 02 November 2009 by Lou

Astros Cubs Baseball

I am thrilled with the prospect of having Carlos Marmol as the Cubs’ closer for the entire 2010 MLB schedule.  Marmol was a rock in save situations at the end of the 2009 season – racking up 11 straight saves (in saves situations) from August 23rd on.  Marmol did have 3 hiccups in non-save situations, suffering 2 losses and giving up 5 ER on 5 hits and 5 walks in the process.  But if you ignore those situations, Marmol was as reliable as it gets for a closer.  Barring any off-season setbacks, Marmol should be good to go to shoulder the load for the Cubs in 2010.

Esmailin Caridad pitched very well for the Cubs at the end of the season, but his experience is a factor (he is only 26 years old).  In 14 appearances, Caridad went 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 17 strikeouts and just 3 walks.  John Grabow also pitched well – 30 appearances, 3.24 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 16 strikeouts and 12 walks.  Grabow is also left-handed, but he is a free agent and the Cubs and GM Jim Hendry still have a little work to do in order to sign him.   The Cubs also have Angel Guzman, Aaron Heilman, Justin Berg, John Gaub, David Patton, Jeff Samardzija  and Jeff Stevens.

Spring Training 2010 will give each of these players a chance to prove their worth as a reliable and dependable reliever out of the pen.  Manager Lou Pinella and his staff will have to be at the top of their game to make sure they select the right combination of players that gives the Cubs the best chance to be successful in 2010.

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