"Pitching has got to be the foundation in the organization. Everybody wants a good pitcher. The more pitchers we have, the stronger our organization will be."
- Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals General Manager

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

2008 Chicago Cubs Organizational Depth Report

1. carlos marmol, RHRP
2. sean gallagher, RHSP
3. donald veal, LHSP - mid 2009
4. sean marshall, LHSP
5. jeff samardzija, RHSP - late 2008
6. mitch atkins, RHSP - 2009
7. carmen pignatiello, LHRP
8. rocky roquet, RHRP - mid 2008
9. mark holliman, RHSP - 2009
10.jacob renshaw, RHSP - 2011

after samardzija, the list peters out. atkins is okay if he's your team's 7th starting option going into the season. pignatiello is an alright reliever. roquet is an intriguing minor league reliever. i'm not optimistic about holliman's future. renshaw is young and projectable, which doesn't really belong on this list, but there is noone better to include.

marmol is someone that i had pegged to breakout in 2007. my having an accurate read on his situation is part of the reason why i started this site. i feel that the markers that i look for are a significantly more accurate predictor of future success than any of the projection systems or any of the traditional scouting methods. time will tell whether my confidence is warranted, but for now, i'm content to plug away.

i see sean gallagher as more of a 3/4 innings eater than a top of the rotation ace. i think his value to the cubs is mostly as a trade chip, but i'm not too close to the situation to know whether the cubs feel the same way.

Spotlight: Sean Marshall

marshall had most of his success in 2007 against aggressive lineups. this is because marshall pitches backwards. he throws his slightly above average curve ball and his deceptive changeup early in the count, and finishes hitters off with his fringe/average fastball. he's right at the line between junkballer and cunning lefty, with the difference being that he's 6'7" tall, which gives hitters a fraction of a second less time to recognize which offering is coming at them.

aggressive hitters will tend to jump on the first offering, and mostly make poor contact. patient hitters will wait him out, and take advantage of his still developing control. as it is, he's very susceptible to baserunners in this situation, but if he can hone his command a notch or two, he has a good future ahead of him, bouncing around the national league.

if he ever finds himself in the AL east, however, expect a round number to locate itself next to his name, in the ERA column.

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