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The Cubs Have A Rotation Problem As Well As A Bullpen Problem

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With 20 games remaining in the 2015 regular season, the Cubs need starting pitchers.

Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

The Cubs' bullpen issues over the last few games are well-documented and we don't have to go over them again here. (Unless you want to, and somehow I doubt you want to.)

The Cubs also have a starting-rotation crunch coming up soon, partly because of the pair of doubleheaders (last Friday and coming up Tuesday) and partly because of the poor performance of Dan Haren.

For the Pirates series, we'll see Jason Hammel and Jon Lester going Tuesday, then Jake Arrieta Wednesday and Kyle Hendricks Thursday.

Then the Cubs come home Friday to face the Cardinals in a three-game series. Friday would be Haren's turn. You don't want to see him face the Cardinals again, do you? I sure don't. The freak seven-inning shutout performance he had against them last Monday almost certainly wouldn't be repeated.

So that leaves several choices. The Cubs could go with Clayton Richard, Travis Wood or Trevor Cahill. All three of those pitchers had good outings over the weekend in Philadelphia. Wood threw 53 pitches Saturday and Cahill 38 in three-inning appearances. Richard threw four innings and 51 pitches on Sunday.

The Cubs could piggyback two of those three pitchers in the first game against the Cardinals.

But then they've got another rotation problem, because the next pitchers in the rotation are Lester and Hammel, who would both be on three days' rest if they started on Saturday.

So it would appear that the Cubs will have to take some combination of whoever doesn't start on Friday against the Cardinals and use those pitchers on Saturday, with Lester throwing the last game of the series on Sunday (on his normal four days' rest) and Hammel going in the first game against the Brewers a week from today.

It's a mess. In the poll, vote for the pitcher you think should start Friday against the Cardinals (even if you think that game should be a "piggyback" game).