With the trade of Marquis and the acquisition of Vizcaino, there are a lot of arms battling it out for the bullpen.
Obviously the #5 starter situation is in question at the moment, but leaving that out of the equation, here are the bullpen candidates
LH: Marshall and Cotts
RH: Ascaino, Gaudin, Gregg, Guzman, Hart, Marmol, Patton, Samardzija, Stevens, Wuertz, Vizcaino. Guys like Wells are unlikely to get much consideration.
With Rich Harden's inconsistency there are going to be seven relievers.
Certain to make the bullpen are Gaudin, Gregg, and Marmol.
Vizcanio is there, too, unless he's dealt. IMO, he has a nice track record and could be a valuable addition.
Samardzija and Marshall will both be on the team, the question is whether they'll be relievers or starters.
The interesting situation is the LOOGY and while Neal Cotts likely is the candidate, I'd much rather have Michael Wuertz there. Wuertz doesn't get enough credit and he is very inconsistent, however his numbers against lefties have been very good, especially over the last three seasons. I have little use for Cotts, who has a poor major league track record. Wuertz, if not utilized, should have some real trade value.
Ascanio, Hart and Guzman will likely get an extended look but appear to be crowded out. Patton would seem to have a hard time sticking on a contending team.
I think at this point in time, I'd prefer to have Marshall in the rotation. IMO its time to see what the Cubs have in Marshall who could be a nice middle of the rotation starter. Gaudin could be that swing man.
Then working from the 9th inning back the Cubs have
- Marmol in closer situation
- Gregg, Vizcaino and Samardzija setting up
- Gaudin and one other righty cleaning up
- Wuertz as the LOOGY.
I'm actually fairly satisfied with the bullpen as is. The Cubs did take a step backwards in the 8th inning situation but as a whole, there are several good arms. With as difficult as relief arms are to predict and relievers coming on out of nowhere, I could see Gaudin, Vizcaino and Wuertz providing a lot of stability to the pen.
Other bullpen thoughts?