Before the season began, before Spring Training, way back at the end of January, the CCO asked the question, “If You Were Lou….“, who would be on your Opening Day roster in April. Well, 162 games later, Sweet Lou has shaped his 40-man roster into a crew of his liking. Now the question is, who plays in the NLDS? Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella have until 10:00am on Wednesday to turn in their playoff roster for the first round. Today is Monday, who do you think should be the 25 players to represent the Cubs in October? Here are the locks, the players without any question marks….
- Derrek Lee
- Mark DeRosa
- Ryan Theriot
- Aramis Ramirez
- Jason Kendall
- Geovany Soto
- Alfonso Soriano
- Jacque Jones
- Cliff Floyd
- Carlos Zambrano
- Ted Lilly
- Rich Hill
- Carlos Marmol
- Kerry Wood
- Bobby Howry
- Scott Eyre….Stevie Ire
- Michael Wuertz
- Ryan Dempster
That is 18 players, 7 positions to fill.
The Cubs mentioned over the weekend Henry Blanco will likely be kept off the playoff roster because of the injuries he had this season. The fact he played 1st base for two games against the Reds while Soto was behind the plate backs up those reports.
The hand injury to Daryle Ward will figure heavily in the bench. Without Ward, the Cubs do not have a legitimate pinch hitter. Ward did make an appearance on Sunday but there was not any news on how he felt afterwards. If Ward can go, he is definitely on the roster.
Matt Murton figures to be on the list with the way he has hit of late as well as Craig Monroe. Monroe gives Piniella a good defensive backup for the late innings and he has been starting against lefties. Felix Pie figures to get the nod based on his defense and speed….so that is 21 without Ward, 22 with.
Piniella figures to have 11 pitchers on his roster. Jason Marquis appeared to be a lock before his outing on Sunday. Without Marquis on the roster, Piniella would have to bring Zambrano back on 3 days rest for Game Three and Lilly the same for Game Four. Sean Marshall pitched very well in the desert against the Diamondbacks on August 24th and got the win (1 run on 2 hits in 6 innings with 5 strikeouts and a walks). Back on July 22nd at Wrigley, Marshall was a hard-luck loser with an impressive line (1 run on 5 hits in 6 innings with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks)….in the two combined starts, 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP and those are his career numbers as well.
Jason Marquis on the other hand has the same record against the Diamondbacks this season. He beat them at Wrigley on July 20th with Brandon Webb on the mound, 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 2/3 innings. But his lost to them in Arizona on August 26th, 5 runs on 5 hits in 5 1/3 innings. His line for the season, 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.
Both pitchers do not figure to make it and Piniella has said he will go with the players that match up better against the opponent.
With one spot left, do you take Will Ohman or Kevin Hart? Ohman has pitched better of late but Hart gives the option of more than one inning and has been very effective down the stretch….8 games, 11 innings, a 0.82 ERA with 4 walks and 13 strikeouts. Hart appears to be able to get out lefties just as well as righties.
Ronny Cedeno or Mike Fontenot? Fontenot became a fan favorite, but has struggled of late. Fontenot plays a solid 2nd base and that would free up Piniella to use Mark DeRosa in different positions. Ronny Cedeno gives Piniella an utility infielder with the possibility of pop off the bench. Cedeno though, appears to be all or nothing at the plate this year, .203 average, .231 OBP with 4 home runs and 13 RBI’s. Cedeno has 15 hits in 74 at bats, 4 home runs and 2 doubles with 18 strikeouts. But since being recalled on September 1st, .391 average, .417 OBP with 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s….9 hits in 23 at bats.
So again, what would you do? Let’s have a little fun with this, after all the Cubs are playing ball in October.