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Ted Lilly to come back Saturday, so which Cubs' starter loses his job?

Apr 21, 2010, 4:16 PM EDT

Dempster headshot.jpgUPDATE: Holy Cow, it’s Zambrano!

Jon Heyman notes in his latest column that Ted Lilly is set to make his season debut for the Cubs on Saturday and that his return to the rotation will require that someone get sent to the bullpen.  Heyman reports that the Cubs are inclined to keep Tom Gorzelanny in his starting slot, and lord knows that Carlos Zambrano does not exactly have the temperament to live down in the pen.  So who goes? Heyman says Ryan Demptser:

If it’s anyone, Dempster — who makes almost $13 million a year as a
starter but has been a semi-successful closer in the past — might be
the most logical of the four.

Really? This seems like a really shortsighted move to me. Carlos Silva may have 13 innings without an earned run to start off the year, but are we really going to let a couple of April starts from the ballast of the Milton Bradley trade send Ryan Dempster back to the bullpen?

I have faith that Dempster would do just fine in relief, but such a move seems shortsighted to me. I’d much rather sacrifice Gorzelanny or Silva — or even make Zambrano a mopup man now that I think about it — than turn Dempster into a $13 million setup man.

  1. Brian - Apr 21, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    I hope this is just another case of Lord Haw Haw showing how little he knows about baseball. If that is actually what the Cubs do, that will take away whatever faith I have in Lou Piniella and his coaching staff.

  2. Howie B. - Apr 21, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    Craig – can’t tell if your Zambrano dig was sarcasm (probably safe to assume that it was…) but in his three starts since his opening debacle, Big Z has a 4.00 ERA and a 25:8 K:BB ratio over 18 IP (12.5 K:9). Not setting the world on fire, but not exactly horrible either.

  3. Brian - Apr 21, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    Bleed Cubbie Blue says it’s Zambrano going to the pen:
    http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2010/4/21/1435385/cubs-send-zambrano-to-bullpen

  4. hermitfool - Apr 21, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    Where’s Ken Tremendous when we need him? This latest Buster Hymen column cries, indeed gets down on its knees and begs for a public flogging. Lou “the Human Turnip” claims his bull pen is young? Buster lets that whopper float by without objection. And Lou’s entire lame Soriano shuffle goes unchallenged. At what point in history of mankind did Alfonso Soriano ever correct a deficiency once it came to the attention of the ten gadzillion people in the Greater Chicago, Washington D.C., Arlington or New York City areas. Name one, Senile Turnip Brain.
    I can’t decide which is a bigger mystery, Buster’s continued employment as a sports writer or the Human Turnip’s ongoing tenure as manager of the Cubs.

  5. Alex K - Apr 21, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    I see what you’re doing here….trying to get on “The Afternoon Saloon” on ESPN 1000. Well played, Calcaterra.

  6. Ace - Apr 21, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    Over the past two seasons as a starter, Dempster has thrown over 400 innings while sporting an ERA of 3.30. Jeez, what does a guy have to do to stay in the rotation? Demoting him to the bullpen strikes me as a catastrophically idiotic idea.

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