According to a report in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday night, Sean Gallagher could make his second big league start against the Pirates next weekend. The Cubs will start Carlos Zambrano in the opener against the Padres on Monday. Jason Marquis will face Shawn Estes on Tuesday, Ted Lilly will go against Jake Peavy on Wednesday and Ryan Dempster will face his former teammate, Greg Maddux, in the finale on Thursday.
The Tribune indicated Jon Lieber’s turn in the rotation will be skipped and that Sean Gallagher is penciled in as the starter for the first game of the series against the Pirates on Friday. Piniella told the Tribune, “I think we’ll probably keep him in the rotation, which means Lieber might stay in the bullpen. If not, we’re going to have to make a change as far as the roster is concerned. He pitched well. He kept us in the game. I would think he’ll stay in the rotation, but I’m not going to say that for certain.”
Gallagher pitched better than his line from the game indicates. He showed very good command and a fastball that topped out at 97 MPH. While the results were not spectacular, he was much more effective as a starter on Sunday than he has been as a reliever in the past.
Jason Marquis has a big start ahead of him on Tuesday. With Sean Marshall and Kevin Hart being stretched out and Rich Hill working out his problems down in Triple-A, Marquis’ days in the rotation could be numbered if Sean Gallagher is able to take advantage of the unexpected opportunity he received on Sunday.