CHICAGO -- This spring, Casey Coleman was one of the last pitchers sent to the Cubs' Minor League camp. He will likely be up in the Major Leagues before he makes one start for Triple-A Iowa.
The Cubs are expected to call up Coleman to make Sunday's start against the Brewers as the team starts piecing together the rotation, following the news Wednesday that both Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner are headed to the disabled list.
Wells has a strained right forearm, while Cashner has a mild strain in his right rotator cuff. Both underwent MRIs, which showed there was no structural damage. Neither will be allowed to pick up a ball for at least two weeks, and they will be re-evaluated then.
The Cubs do have off-days on the next three Thursdays. Cubs manager Mike Quade said they are considering left-hander James Russell to make the switch from the bullpen to the rotation on Tuesday to face the Astros.
"The way I see it now in the next three weeks, you're looking at a line of three Tuesdays where we need pitching," Quade said. "Whether that's 'Russ' coming out of the chute or if someone takes the bull by the horns in the Minor Leagues and establishes himself. Three times in three weeks we need somebody, and that's better than five times in three weeks or whatever. Built in off-days help for a lot of reasons, and this is one of them."
Coleman was called up at the end of last season and appeared in 12 games with the Cubs, making eight starts. He went 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA in his starts, and five of them were quality starts.
"He's been on track and he's a perfect fit, and then we'll figure out what we want to do with the following spot," Quade said of Coleman.
Iowa opens its season on Thursday at Round Rock, and Thomas Diamond is scheduled to start.
"Nobody is feeling sorry for us, and I'm certainly not," Quade said. "People will pick up the slack. It's a long season, and [Wells and Cashner] will be back to help us as well."