Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Half-assed rotation plan du jour

Since the greatness that is The Cubs Management Think Tank can't think of anything better, allow me to hit you with some knowledge: the foolproof, sure-to-work Cubs Rotation Attack Plan for Starters (CRAPS).

Note: This idea is nowhere close to original.

Let's call Andrew Cashner ready-to-go as a big league starter. And we know Sean Marshall has started previously as well. So if we add those two guys, plus Everyone Loves Carlos Zambrano, to our current rotation, we have eight dudes that can go multiple innings.

Next, let's group those eight into two four-man camps: hosses and non-hosses. Hosses are guys who can definitely throw 100+ quality pitches a game. Demp and Z are locks for this group, and in my humble opinion Wells and Lilly are the next best candidates. By default, that puts Silva, Gorz, Marsh, and Cash in our non-hoss group.

Finally, the pairings:

Dempster - Marshall
Lilly - Silva
Wells - Gorzelanny
Zambrano - Cashner

The first three pairings match righties with lefties, while the last one gives Cashner the hossiest of hosses on which to rely for his appearances.

I think you can see where I'm going with this: every fourth day, we start with a hoss, cut him off in the 85-90 pitch range, and then hand over the next two to four innings to our non-hoss. Out in the 'pen, you of course have Marmol, and then either two or three other guys to serve basically as ROOGYs and LOOGYs for the transition from one starter to the other.

This would work, right?

AJ, that plan makes more

AJ, that plan makes more sense than trotting John Grabow out there every second day, or putting Z in the pen.

Alright! That's something!

Alright! That's something! Yeah, I'm a genius! Woooooo!

The sad thing is, this sort

The sad thing is, this sort of makes sense. I don't know if that's the reality, or if I'm just slowly going crazy watching this team.

An accidental endorsement!

An accidental endorsement! I'm gonna be famous!!

I don't mind the plan

though I'd suggest a modified one involving 3 relievers (without Cashner) and with Wells and Z along with Marshall in the pen. Here's how I'd do it:

Starters go a Max of 80 pitches which hopefully means at least 4 innings and sometimes means 6. Here are the starters:

Dempster
Lilly
Silva
Gorzelanny

Then use a 3 man bullpen rotation where they are not allowed to throw over 70 pitches and usually are stopped at 60:

Zambrano
Marshall
Wells

Usually, this will take the Cubs through the 8th inning at which time they can go to Marmol in the 9th as the closer.

On top of this, they can use 3 pitchers for other purposes:

John Grabow-mop up
Justin Berg-mop up/rotate with Z/Marsh/Wells
James Russell-occassional LOOGY duty

This gives them an 11 man pitching staff which allows Chad Tracy back in the majors as a very useful pinch hitter.

The only problem I see with this plan is that it would drive most managers completely insane. This is a plan that needs an Earl Weaver or a Whitey Herzog or a Tony LaRussa to execute correctly. I'm not sure Lou is the right man. I mean, if one of the seven pitchers starts getting hit very hard, he may need to use the Berg/Grabow/Russell combo in the 2nd or 3rd inning to keep the game from getting out of hand. Can he execute that?

I doubt it.

it makes as much sense as

it makes as much sense as anything else. It won't happen, but it would be interesting.

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