Here are the Cubs' No. 1 draft picks for the last 15 years (1996-2010):
2010 Haden Simpson, RHP 2009 Brett Jackson, OF 2008 Andrew Cashner, RHP 2007 Josh Vitters, 3B 2006 Tyler Colvin, OF 2005 Mark Pawelek, LHP 2004 NONE 2003 Ryan Harvey, OF 2002 Bobby Brownlie, RHP 2001 Mark Prior, RHP 2000 Luis Montanez, SS 1999 Ben Christensen, RHP 1998 Corey Patterson, OF 1997 Jon Garland, RHP 1996 Todd Noel, RHP
That's not exactly a ringing list of success. Of those 14 players, the one who's had the best major league career is Jon Garland, who never even came close to being in a Cubs uniform. Mark Prior had some success before injuries and Tyler Colvin had a decent rookie year in 2010. Four of them (Noel, Brownlie, Harvey and Pawelek) never played in the major leagues; the jury is still out on Josh Vitters. Brett Jackson looks like the real deal, probably next year, and Haden Simpson has yet to throw a professional pitch. Luis Montanez is now known as Lou Montanez and is back in the Cubs organization as an outfielder, a bit player at best.
Up to now, that's it for the Cubs' No. 1 picks. Today, Andrew Cashner joins the Cubs starting rotation, a place many here have been clamoring for him to be ever since he was called up last year (and even before that, too). Cashner definitely has the repertoire and mental makeup to be a quality major league starter. I hope the results we see from him match his promise. He's not overrated as Patterson or Harvey or Pawelek were, not injured like Brownlie was, not controversial as Christensen was. Best of luck to Cashner in his first MLB start and may it be the first of many successful ones.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
As noted above, Andrew Cashner is making his first MLB start this afternoon after 53 relief appearances last year. He was pretty good in most of them, except for back-to-back outings last July vs. the Astros and Rockies where he allowed 12 of his 29 earned runs for the season. In spring training he was a bit shaky, but the last start he made, vs. the Rangers, he allowed five runs in the first inning and then settled down and shut Texas down. Let's hope that is a good sign for today.
Barry Enright has pretty good numbers from last year -- a 3.91 ERA and 1.27 WHIP -- but is clearly not a strikeout pitcher (49 K in 99 IP) and allowed an alarming number of homers (20) in those 99 innings. One of those HR was by Aramis Ramirez and another by Kosuke Fukudome in a 6-4 Cubs win at Phoenix on July 6, 2010, Enright's second MLB start.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Arizona. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1:15 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to rain delays or extra innings, post them in the fanshot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.