3/14 Sorting things out
Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner will each get another chance Tuesday to convince manager Mike Quade they are best suited for the rotation. Wells and Cashner will start in the Cubs’ final split squad games, with Wells facing the Rockies at HoHoKam Park in Mesa and Cashner going to Phoenix to start against the Athletics. The two right-handers are vying for the vacancies with Carlos Silva, Casey Coleman, Braden Looper, Todd Wellemeyer and James Russell.
“I’m not closer to nailing stuff down but of that mix, whether it’s bullpen, whether it’s fourth and fifth, I think a lot of guys have been better lately and that’s what we’re looking for,” Quade said Monday. “Until I have to make a decision, we’ll let this thing play out.”
Cashner will be an interesting call. Has he developed his secondary pitches enough to be considered a starter? Do the Cubs feel he needs more experience and would benefit from pitching at Triple-A Iowa? Or, if he’s not ready to start, do they keep his talented arm in the bullpen with the big league team?
“My sense is he has Major League value in whatever role,” Quade said. “It’s a tough call. He’s in a competition with other people. I don’t have an opinion on [whether he start in Minors] yet but we’ve got two weeks after the off day, so obviously at some point these are the kind of tough questions down the stretch that have to be answered.”
— Carrie Muskat