I know its still early and most of the Cubs starters have made two (or fewer) starts, but so far I have been impressed with the performances of Jeff Samardzija and Chris Volstad and they may have taken the lead for the last two rotation spots.
Samardzija, despite giving up 2 runs in 3 innings his last time out, has allowed just those 2 runs in 6 IP so far, while striking out 6. However, that is not what impresses me the most. What does impress me is that he has 0, yes ZERO, walks. This is a guy who has averaged 5.3 BB/9 in his career, including a 5.1 mark last year in his "breakout" year. If he keeps this up, it only bodes well for the Cubs and their starting rotation.
Volstad has been equally impressive, giving up no runs and just 3 hits in his 6 IP. His sinker has been working well, giving him a 2.50 GO/AO ratio so far to go along with 4 K's. Those of you thinking he was just a throw-in in the Carlos Zambrano trade may have to think again.
While those two may have a leg up on the competition, Randy Wells has been doing his best to keep up. Including today's start, in which he shut out the Brewers over 3 IP, giving up just 2 hits, Wells has now pitched 5.2 scoreless innings. He's not missing many bats, as he only has 1 K so far, but has been working his sinker as well, with a GO/AO ratio of 5.0.
On the other end of the spectrum, its looking more and more like Travis Wood will be starting the year in AAA. After giving up one run on 3 hits and 2 walks his first time out, Wood was lit up today, giving up 6 runs (5 earned) in 0.1 IP. There is still time for him to turn things around, but he has to put together some solid starts to get back into the picture.
So, with 3 weeks to go before opening day, here is how the rotation is shaping up:
In any case, the Cubs may have a difficult decision looming. Stay tuned....