Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What To Do About...

The Bullpen: Not much you can do. Carlos Marmol has less control than Nuke LaLoosh and Kevin Gregg pitches balls that have bleacher reservations built into them. The idea of moving Angel Guzman into the closer role has some merit, but how many teams have been able to take a guy like Guzman, who has never pitched in a pressure situation before, who has never closed, and have him be effective in the role.

Want a really radical idea for a closer? No, not Rich Harden. How about Carlos Zambrano? With his injury status this year, maybe one inning 4 times a week would be better than 7 innings twice a week. Carlos closing would also prevent him from wrenching his back further as he wouldn't bat anymore. Hell, it worked for John Smoltz.

In reality, there's very little that can be done without something seemingly insane. The bottom line is that unless Carlos Marmos re-discovers his control and Kevin Gregg stops serving up marshmallows, the Cubs don't have much of a chance. Jim Hendry has really never been able to fill out a bullpen. That has not changed in 2009.

The Offense: This unit will struggle the rest of the year unless a healthy Aramis Ramirez returns. A few weeks ago, it was reported that he'd need surgery to correct his problem. Then, he came back and hit a few homers. Maybe the reports were wrong.

But now the shoulder is bad again. And surgery rumors are floating again.

There is one equation here: Can you win a World Series with Aramis injured as he is? If the answer is yes, then you deal with his injury and have the surgery in November. Then, Aramis is back in May or June 2010. But if you can't win, maybe for reasons having more to do with the rest of the team than Aramis himself, you shut him down now, have the surgery and have him back in time for Opening Day 2010.

As to the rest of the team, the only real other hope is that Alfonso Soriano wakes up and carries the team for two months.

This page won't hold its breath.

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