4/27 First month assessment
GM Jim Hendry was asked Monday about how he feels about the Cubs after nearly one month of play:
“I like the last three days [in Milwaukee] more than the first 2 1/2 weeks,” Hendry said. “The good thing is we played like we’re capable of three days in a row. It just kind of verifies what we thought we had. Things can happen. Not all 30 teams break and do well. … I’m optimistic now that we’re starting to swing the bat, our pitching has been real good, our bench is better, our depth is better and Lou has proven his entire career that if you have some hiccups early, he puts people into roles right away to see if they can sink or swim. You find out, you make adjustments, you move a few pieces around.”
One of those hiccups was the struggles the bullpen was having. Moving Carlos Zambrano to the set-up role has changed this dramatically in the two games he’s pitched.
“The bottom line is that at this particular time, it makes us a better club,” Hendry said. “[Zambrano] didn’t throw poorly. [Silva and Gorzelanny], their arsenal isn’t conducive to going to the pen. … There’s no agenda at all except it was the best fit at the time. He’s capable of doing it.”
Zambrano has said he will do this until the Cubs find another set-up pitcher. Nobody knows when that will be.
“I don’t have a time frame,” Hendry said. “It makes us a better club right now. All the other guys are pitching great. A month from now, somebody may slip up or someone has an injury and things change.”
Which means Zambrano could move back into the rotation. By that time, Esmailin Caridad may be ready for the job. One thing is clear, salary was not a factor.
“You can’t worry about anybody’s individual salary,” Hendry said. “Things change. People adjust. We’re going to have an injury or two along the way and we’ll adjust to that. … Nobody ever breaks camp with the 25 in the same role and just run the table, win 100 and goes to the playoffs. To get hung up on what somebody makes or what they used to do or what’s going to happen a month from now or who you’re going to acquire, that’s foolish thinking.”
— Carrie Muskat