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Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Dempster latest Cub on DL

Just when you thought the Cubs were getting healthy, Ryan Dempster jumps over a railing and onto the DL ... One might wonder why the Cubs don't turn Dempster's rotation slot over to Sean Marshall. Well, Marshall's got 58 starts in the majors and he's 16-25 with a 4.81 ERA. Also, he's currently the Cubs' only lefty reliever and managers do like their lefty relievers.

Meanwhile, it's time for Hart to get his shot. He's 26, and in various stints with the Cubs he's pitched only 44 innings, all of them as a reliever. In the minors, though, he's often been a starter, and apparently a pretty good one. Career-wise, he's got a 4.09 ERA as a starter, with eight strikeouts (and 3.3 walks) per nine innings. In the majors, he's throwing plenty hard, averaging nearly 93 miles an hour with his fastball (though he's not likely to throw as hard when starting).

Hart's 26, and there's probably a good reason or two for the Cubs never having tried him as a starter with the big club before. Let's find out, though. I suspect that Hart isn't as good as Dempster, but maybe a tick or two better than Marshall. At worst, he's a luxury for the Cubs, as most teams don't have an option like Hart when a rotation mainstay does some fool thing and breaks a big toe.