Cubs' rotation competition getting tight

Cubs' rotation competition getting tight

Cubs' rotation competition getting tight
LAS VEGAS -- Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner will each get a start on Tuesday in the Cubs' final split-squad games of spring, and then it's decision time.

Wells and Cashner, along with James Russell, Carlos Silva, Braden Looper, Todd Wellemeyer and Casey Coleman, are being considered for the final two rotation vacancies for the Cubs.

Cashner's longest outing has been four innings, and the Cubs are happy to see him making adjustments.

"He's just got to go through some games," pitching coach Mark Riggins said. "The more he goes out there and pitches, the more relaxed he's going to be and his confidence is going to get better. It's a process of building him up both mentally and physically."

Fellow rotation hopeful Randy Wells also has had positive outings.

"He came in with a great attitude in a competitive atmosphere, which was good for us," Riggins said. "He's taken it very well."

Wells won 12 games in his rookie season but was 8-14 last year. The right-hander came to camp this spring knowing nothing was guaranteed.

"I think he got a little embarrassed at some point last year and he's put his nose to the grindstone and worked hard this spring and in the offseason," Riggins said of Wells. "That's the way it's supposed to be. You can have a good year and take things for granted and it'll bite you right in the butt. He's had a great spring and I applaud his efforts so far."

Riggins also has seen positives from Jeff Samardzija, who is being considered for the bullpen. Samardzija did serve up a two-run homer in the ninth inning on Friday against the White Sox, but the Cubs held on for a 4-3 win.

"I was extremely happy with the way he threw yesterday," Riggins said. "I don't look at results. I'm looking at how he executed pitches. It was a complete turnaround from what he has been doing in the past. He got the ball down well, he threw some really good cutters and we're bringing his split up more often. [Friday] to me was a positive day for him. The home run racked up the runs on him, but other than that one pitch, I thought he pitched really good."