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Some Thoughts For 2010: Cubs vs. Diamondbacks Preview, Friday 10/2, 1:20 CT

The bleachers during Thursday night's rain delay, about 9:15 pm. <em>(BCB photo by David Sameshima)</em>
The bleachers during Thursday night's rain delay, about 9:15 pm. (BCB photo by David Sameshima)

We have, at times this season, debated whether the Cubs should have traded Mark DeRosa and whether he would have helped the club through its various injuries and lack of production. I don't want to rekindle anything... oh, what the heck. Yes, I do.

During last night's rain delay, the Tribune's Paul Sullivan asked various Cubs, including Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano and Ted Lilly, what their wish lists are for 2010. Though all of them made good points -- and I think Dempster's wish of upgrading the facilities will come true, though maybe not for another year -- Lilly's were telling:

Lilly's wish is for the Cubs to re-sign Reed Johnson, who becomes a free agent in November. But he also said it would be prudent to consider bringing back Mark DeRosa, who left a void in the clubhouse when he was traded to the Indians last winter.

"I love Mark as a player, a person, a clubhouse guy," Lilly said. "I could say he's probably the best teammate I've ever had. All around, he really cares a great deal about everybody, and that's the kind of person he is. I think he also leads by example -- the way he plays. He's a special individual."

"The best teammate I've ever had". This, from someone who played more than two years for the Yankees when they were playing in World Series every year and had guys like Paul O'Neill and Scott Brosius, reputed to be great team leaders, not to mention Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, all class acts and fine players. Ted says DeRo was "the best teammate I've ever had".

Now. Mark DeRosa is going to be 35 years old in February and hasn't produced this year as he did in his two Cub seasons -- although, that is partly due to a wrist injury he suffered in his first week with the Cardinals, plus his career numbers at Busch Stadium (.182/.251/.315 in 200 career AB) are pretty bad; compare that to the .305/.394/.464 he posted in 528 lifetime AB at Wrigley Field, neither of which can be dismissed as "small sample size". The Cubs could do worse than signing DeRosa to play right field or second base or a combination thereof, even if they have to have him share time with other players. For the right price -- I would NOT overpay -- I would be delighted to have Mark DeRosa back in Cubs uniform #7 in 2010.

Let the flaming -- or cheerleading -- begin.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Tom Gorzelanny
Tom Gorzelanny
vs. Billy Buckner
Billy Buckner
7-2 W-L 3-6
4.70 ERA 6.59
44 SO 59
16 BB 25
5 HR 12
vs. Ari -- vs. Cubs
NOTE: Tom Gorzelanny's stats below are with the Cubs only. See the pitcher box above for his full-season stats.

2009 - Tom Gorzelanny 4-1 12 6 0 0 0 0 35.1 32 18 18 5 12 37 4.58 1.25

2009 - Billy Buckner 3-6 15 12 0 0 0 0 71.0 88 54 52 12 25 59 6.59 1.59

The last time a player named Bill Buckner appeared at Wrigley Field was May 24, 1984, when the former Cubs first baseman pinch-hit (and popped out) in the first game of a doubleheader against the Braves, just before he was traded to the Red Sox. This Billy Buckner, no relation, has never started against the Cubs (he made one relief appearance against them on July 23, 2008 in Phoenix). He has actually been fairly decent since he returned to the Arizona rotation in September (3.86 ERA in five starts, although he has also posted a 1.35 WHIP).

Tom Gorzelanny is slowly putting together a good record that he can bring to next spring training with a real chance to make the 2010 rotation. He has made six starts for the Cubs, going at least five innings in five of them (and getting pounded by the Rockies in the other one). His combined numbers as a starter: 28.2 IP, 28 H, 13 ER, 9 BB, 33 K, 4 HR, 4.13 ERA, 1.31 WHIP. Not bad, and if you throw out the one horrendous start, the other five are decent-to-outstanding. He has made three career starts vs. Arizona (1-0, 3.15). Stephen Drew (3-for-10) and Justin Upton (3-for-6, a HR) have hit him well in small sample sizes.

Today's game is on WGN and FSN Arizona. For other games today see the Mediacenter. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Diamondbacks site AZ Snakepit. Jim, the proprietor, is a good guy and runs a well-done site. And he's originally from England.

Overflow comment threads will post again today at 2:15 and 3:15 pm CDT, although last night's had a combined five comments.

Discuss amongst yourselves.