As expected, according to multiple reports the Cubs officially named Sean Marshall the fifth starter in their rotation on Thursday.
Lou Piniella made the announcement after speaking with Aaron Heilman following his start against the Mariners in Peoria on Thursday afternoon. Heilman should slide into the Cubs’ seventh inning reliever role. Jeff Samardzija was told of Piniella’s decision before the Spring Training game against the Mariners. Samardzija still has a chance to make the Cubs Opening Day roster as a reliever according to a report on Cubs.com.
The Cubs will carry 12 pitchers on their 25-man roster once the season begins. Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly, Rich Harden and Sean Marshall have secured spots and Piniella said on Thursday five other pitchers have secured jobs in the bullpen.
According to the report on Cubs.com, Aaron Heilman, Kevin Gregg, Carlos Marmol and Neal Cotts “are obviously included” in Piniella’s five…that leaves one other player and two open spots.
Chad Gaudin, Luis Vizcaino, Jeff Samardzija, Randy Wells and David Patton appear to be the candidates.