According to multiple reports, Rich Harden completed a simulated game on Friday and the Cubs have scheduled his first spring start. If everything goes as planned Rich Harden will take the mound on Tuesday in Peoria against the Seattle Mariners.
The Cubs reduced their spring training roster from 60 to 57 following Friday’s game against the Dodgers. Andrew Cashner, Rocky Roquet and Ed Campusano were re-assigned to Minor League camp. Some of the Cubs minor league players have already reported and minor league spring training begins on Thursday, March 12 at Fitch Park.
The Tribune reported Andrew Cashner has an oblique strain. Rich Harden threw 43 pitches to a group of minor leaguers on Friday according to a report from the Tribune.
Bruce Levine joined Joe Castellano on XM Radio Friday night and reported that Rich Harden could be slotted in as the Cubs’ fifth starter. Levine said Larry Rothschild mentioned the possibility on Friday.
With Harden as the Cubs’ fifth starter it would allow them to give him the rest he requires…and if that is the case, the battle this spring between Sean Marshall, Aaron Heilman and Jeff Samardzija is for the fourth, not the fifth spot in Lou Piniella’s rotation.