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Looking For A LOOGY

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... That's a Left-handed One-Out GuY, in case you don't already know.

Know what? Maybe we have one. Angel Guzman, everyone's favorite prospect, couldn't find the plate today and had to be yanked with the bases loaded and three runs already in, and lefty Will Ohman came in and got...

Well, he got two outs, not one, but you get the point. Ohman used to be a lot of people's favorite prospect when he was 22, back in 2000, before a couple years' worth of shoulder surgery put him way on the back burner.

To Ohman's credit, after seventeen way-forgettable appearances (7.80 ERA) in 2001, he worked his way back, through winter ball this year where he threw lights-out, and so far this spring he looks like he's got a pretty good shot at making the staff. He's no longer young -- he's 27 -- but given Dusty Baker's penchant for ignoring youngsters, maybe this will work in his favor.

Apart from Guzman's hellish inning, though, Cub pitchers didn't give up a thing today. Carlos Zambrano breezed through the first four, and Joe Borowski and Chad Fox both threw 1-2-3 frames (Fox striking out the side, and he's making a pretty good case for himself as a setup man, and as he's 34, he ought to be just about right for ol' Dusty).

And that's pretty much the summation of today's 3-2 Cub loss to the LAA's, or Angels of Anaheim, or Los Angeles, or wherever they're saying they're from these days.

The Cubs scored both their runs on misplays by Angel fielders; there was an error on a missed pickoff and then an overthrow. The Cubs managed only five hits today, too -- though I wouldn't worry about the offense on a day when people like Nomar, and Aramis were left at home. Meanwhile, Jerry Hairston Jr., playing center field today as Corey spent the day as DH, made a nice throw to the plate in the fifth inning (his second assist of the day -- he also threw out a runner at third in the 2nd inning) to preserve Z's scoreless streak, now nine innings without allowing a run.

As Pat and Ron pointed out on radio today, the season opener at the BOB in Phoenix is three weeks from tomorrow -- and there are still many questions about who will come north with the ballclub. As of now, it seems that there are nine pitchers who are "locks" to make the staff: Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, LaTroy Hawkins, Joe Borowski, Glendon Rusch, Mike Remlinger and Greg Maddux.

If you believe there are only two spots left, they very well may go to Fox and Ohman. It's somewhat surprising that Todd Wellemeyer and Jon Leicester aren't in this list, since both of them were positive contributors to the 2004 team, but I'd imagine both of them are on the bubble to be the 12th pitcher. Both of them have options left, and guys like Fox and Ohman (when I write those two names together, I think of this fancy-ass food store in the River North area of downtown Chicago) most likely don't.

Tomorrow, viewers in the Chicago area can watch the Cubs host the White Sox at Ho Ho Kam Park -- on Comcast Sports Net, as a White Sox-based telecast, which means it'll be with their announcers. Just turn the sound off.

UPDATE [2005-3-13 19:34:16 by Al]: I have learned here that tomorrow's telecast will in fact feature Len Kasper and Bob Brenly. Turn the sound up with no fear!