The seventh inning proves to be the worst for Cubs’ pitchers.
They’ve allowed opponents to score 74 runs in the frame, including the Reds’ 9-run inning Friday and 8-run explosion Sunday.
The next worst inning is the first…opponents scoring 57 runs. Then it’s the eighth inning, having allowed 51 runs.
No surprise the late innings are a problem given the loss of Angel Guzman and the promotion of three rookies to round out a young, thin, and inexperienced bullpen.
Then, of course, there’s Jeff Samardzija’s lack of development…a worn-out Bob Howry…and the forgotten about Esmailin Caridad, leaving no wonder why the Cubs can’t get a lead to Marshall and Marmol.
But middle relief has been a glaring weakness since spring training, only long overshadowed by the ineptitude of the Cubs’ offense.
If I’m Jim Hendry…bullpen arms are at the top of my trade list.
Sean Marshall in the rotation? You’ve got to be kidding me.
If he’s proven anything during his four years on the North Side it’s that he’s not starter material.
I’m not blaming Marshall–he is what he is, a left-handed specialist, and a pretty darn good one at that.
But the Cubs don’t see it this way. Instead, the fantasy of Marshall becoming a regular starter appears to be alive and well in Mesa, Arizona.
Sean Marshall sees himself as a starter, not a reliever.
At least that’s the word coming from Bruce Levine of ESPN 1000.
Funny thing is…I feel just the opposite.
Yesterday’s NHL trade deadline had me thinking about what the Cubs’ options might be come July 31.
But unless they’re major injures to overcome, I wouldn’t expect Chicago to be overly aggressive during July given the all-around talent of this club on Opening Day.
Yet, should Hendry find himself in need, he’ll once again be reevaluating which of his players are available and who carries the most trade value.
As of today I think Fukudome tops the list.