Tomorrow morning, you'll see the first Game Thread for the 2008 season as the Cubs will face the Giants in the first spring game. We'll continue the projection series even while games are going on, but I wanted to get this one going now.
So far, we have projected eleven players -- and there's not much doubt that those eleven (eight position players, and the top three starting pitchers) will likely be in those spots all year. Now, we get into more of a speculative mode. I'll post projection threads for several rotation candidates, and also for the three closer candidates, over the next week or two.
And for the first time, I'm NOT going first. I, personally, am not sure what to make of Dempster's attempt to go back to being a rotation starter for the first time in five years (I don't really count his six starts for the '05 Cubs, because if Dusty Baker had listened to everyone shouting loudly at the time, Dempster would have started the season as the closer), when he was still with the Reds, and eight years removed from his only good year as a starter, 2000 with the Marlins.
So YOU start. I'll chime in at some point in the comments. I do know this: Dempster seems determined to succeed in going back to starting. Obviously, desire doesn't necessarily produce results. But it's a start.
Ryan Dempster's career stats at baseball-reference.com
(Incidentally, the photo on the card pictured above was almost certainly taken last May 17 at Shea Stadium, when Dempster had his worst meltdown of the season. Thanks, Topps.)