Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cubs Continue to go International

The Chicago Cubs recently re-signed the 37-year old Jon Lieber, who is also the last 20 win Cub starting pitcher (2001). This seems like a good idea for the Cubs, he is a solid veteran pitcher who had a couple of injury shortened seasons. BUT they were non arm related injuries meaning he might just be slightly rusty. Cubs GM Jim Hendry has been close with Lieber since he met the 37-year old in Junior College and jumped at the chance to get him back in the clubhouse. Especially with some of these young arms on the Team's roster this could be a clutch pick-up who can deliver some serious innings and give some nice starting pitching to the Cubs.

This gives the Cubs and interesting look at the pitchers as Spring Training (pitchers and catchers report in 29 days.) Lieber jumps onto the list of potential Cubs starting candidates that includes (last year's rotation of) Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Rich Hill, and Jason Marquis. As well as failed closer, possible starter Ryan Dempster, and the sometimes troubled young pitchers Sean Marshall, Sean Gallagher and Kevin Hart. Having a vet like Lieber will be nice, but heading into Spring Training with 9 starting candidate is a little ridiculous. This seemingly large numbers of starting pitching candidates doesn't shock many of the ball clubs closest followers. "You try to get as many arms as you can," Hendry said. "As proven in the past, the good years or bad, when you think you have enough, you never do." Hendry is going to great lengths to test his new "more arms" theory by heading to India to look at a couple of young prospects.

The BearDown is not able to find much information or stats on the two but we were able to uncover the names and a couple of drawn pictures (photos being outlawed at major ball parks). Ganesha and Vishnu, have much more experience in the game of cricket and only recently have started to pick up Baseball.
The scouting report on Ganesha (left) is one word, Innings. Ganesha can and will go late in ball games and expect more than a few Complete games. On the other hand Vishnu (right) is more flash. We've heard reports of a pitch called the "Peri-ball" that is the world's only actual rising fastball. No one yet has any acutal proof of this pitch yet. It is also rumored that Vishnu carries a pretty heavy bat, especially for a pitcher, and will only consider playing in the National League. Hendry has paid 300 Rubies to both Ganesha and Vishnu's agents while attempting to contact.