To start off with, this probably won't have for 2 years or so because of the veterans and the big contract that no one wants in the MLB. But I thought it would be a good thing to talk about.
Pitchers in the minors that have already been mention to maybe getting the call to the majors are Andrew Cashner, Jay Jackson and Casey Coleman. Whom are all starting pitchers and I don't know if the Cubs want to put them in the bullpen to screw them up with the endurance and stretching them out wrong. That is why they think Jeff Samardzija is not pitching that good anymore because he kept switching from starter to reliever. The reason they will go to the bullpen is the Cubs starting rotation is pitching so good right now, there are veterans besides Randy Wells are are making to much to go the bullpen (don't think about the Zambrano case) Lets look at what the Cubs starting rotation is making (this is counting this year too).
1) Carlos Zambrano is going back to the rotation and I am putting him number 1 for now: He has 4 years left on his contract for 73 million.
2) Ryan Dempster: He has 2 years left with a player option on his contract, he will make 26 million guarantee over the next 2 years with a 14 million player option.
3) Ted Lilly is a free agent after the 2010 season and is making 12 million in 2010.
4) Randy Wells: He is making 427,00 until arbitration.
5) Carlos Silva: He has 2 years left with a mutual option worth 12 million and a 2 million buyout. In the 2 years Silva will make 23 million.
As you can see, it will be hard to trade Zambrano with all that money on his contract and no one really has interest in him. But Chris De Luca said today don't be surprise to see teams call for Zambrano. That shock me a little. I think if the Cubs were to become sellers, Dempster and maybe Silva can be trades without paying any of contract but I think Silva you will have to but Dempster, I say no. If that would be the case, I think the Cubs keep Wells because he is only 27 and still young. Also remember this Zambrano is still young at 28 so he can still help for years.
A look at the youngsters that could get the call for pitching:
1) Jay Jackson: He is 22 years and has posted a record of 3-3 with a era of 1.99 for Iowa Cubs.
2) Andrew Cashner: He won Triple A player of the week posting a 3-0 record with a 0.95 era. Cashner is 23 years old and since he has been in Triple A, he has posted the above stats.
3) Casey Coleman: He is 22 years old and has posted a 5-3 record with a 3.36 era for the Iowas Cubs.
So if the Cubs were to put these 3 in the bullpen, there bullpen might actyallu be good and the Cubs will win lots more games. The Cubs can release Grabow and Howry and send down Jeff Stevens. But we all know the Cubs won't release Grabow because of what he is making. Another mistake by Jim Hendry by not giving the youngsters time to shine. Going into the season the Cubs were going to have problems with the bullpen because of age but with theses moves the bullpen gets younger. The ages in the bullpen would be, 28 (Marmol), 27 (Marshall), 27 (Russell), 27 (Gorzelanny), 23 (Cashner), 22 (Coleman) and 22 (Jackson). That is young but if they can throw strikes and get outs, age does not matter. The only question remains, will the Cubs put these pitchers in the bullpen when the are starters? I have to say yes because they won't get a chance at the starting rotation for at least 2 years because of the contracts in the rotation.
Young players that are not pitchers that could make the team is a tear or so:
3B Josh Vitters: He is currently playing for Double A and is making progress after a wrist-hand injury last year. There has been speculation that he could move over to 1B when Derrek Lee leaves whenever that time comes. At this point, the Cubs do not have a 1B prospect close to the majors and lee is in last year of his contract. But I doubt he leaves and the Cubs will be OK for now.
OF Brett Jackson: He has put up OK numbers in the minors but does give you another player who can leadoff with his speed and plays good defence. He also has a good eye and has been improving.
SS Darwin Barney: Can he move over from SS to 3B like what Alex Rodriguez did? I wish he could so the Cubs can move Vitters to 1B and keep Castro at SS. We will just have to wait and see what the Cubs do with all there top prospects as middle infielders.
SS Hak-Ju-Lee: If he does make the major leagues, he will most likely move over to 2B and be Castro's double play partner. But as of right now he is not hitting but still young. He is only in Low Single A, Peoria Chiefs.
I think all these players besides Barney will be a September call-up in the 201ii seasons. I think Barney will be a September call-up this season. Barney is tearing up Triple A pretty much.
Lineup and starting rotation for the 2012 season:
1) SS Starlin Castro
2) OF Brett Jackson
3) 1B Josh Vitters
4) LF Alfonso Soriano-Marlon Byrd platooning
5) RF Tyler Colvin
6) C Geovany Soto
7) 3B Darwin Barney (this is what I would do, try and switch him)
8) 2B Hak-Ju-Lee
9) P Pitcher
1) Carlos Zambrano
2) Andrew Cashner
3) Randy Wells
4) Jay Jackson
5) Casey Coleman
By this time the Cubs will have a new manager (Ryne Sandberg) who I think will be open to playing young players and I think the Cubs will have a new GM (Greg Maddux) that is going to build around younger players and the farm system. We all know, if the Cubs don't make the playoff this year Pinella and Hendry will be gone and is probably best for the organinzation.
Now to get to me, I would love the Cubs to be young and I am probably not the only one to agree with that statement. The Cubs farm system is improving every year and made a big jump going into the 2010 season. If that is the case, this could work and they could be a good team for years to come. And win lots of WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!