With the recent trade of Tom Gorzelanny, the Cubs have pretty much finalized their starting lineup and rotation.
So here is my early projections for the starting lineup, rotation and remaining roster spots for 2011.
Starting lineup and bench:
Catcher - Geovany Soto
First Base - Carlos Pena
Second - Blake DeWitt
Short - Starlin Castro
Third - Aramis Ramirez
Left - Alfonso Soriano
Center - Marlon Byrd
Right - Tyler Colvin
4th OF - Kosuke Fukudome (assuming he's not traded)
5th OF - TBD - most likely newly acquired Fernando Perez
UT IF 1 - Jeff Baker
UT IF 2 - Darwin Barney
Backup Catch - Koyie Hill
Chances are that Fukudome will see a good amount of playing time (350-400 AB's), spelling each of the other outfielders, 2-3 times a week. Barney could beat out DeWitt for the second base job, but that is unlikely. The Cubs didn't trade for DeWitt to make him a bench player. They will give him every opportunity to prove how mediocre he is before finally going in another direction.
1 - Matt Garza
2 - Ryan Dempster
3 - Carlos Zambrano
4 - Andrew Cashner
5 - Carlos Silva, Randy Wells or Jeff Samardzija
Closer - Carlos Marmol
Setup - Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall
Middle - John Grabow, the two "losers" in the 5th rotation spot battle, and one more long reliever/mopup guy
The trade of Tom Gorzelanny and the acquisition of Kerry Wood will allow the Cubs to move Andrew Cashner into the rotation. He may take some lumps along the way, but should benefit from the experience. The 5th starting spot is up in the air, as the Cubs aren't sure what to expect from Silva or Wells. Samardzija will likely end up in the pen.
Thus, with Spring Training about a month away, the key battles are already shaping up to be the 5th starter spot, possibly the second base job, the bench and the last bullpen spot. To me, the most interesting battle will be the 5th starter (and 4th, since Cashner is not guaranteed the spot). I will give you detailed previews of the Spring Training battles next month.