Ted Lilly to come back Saturday, so which Cubs' starter loses his job?

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Dempster headshot.jpgUPDATE: Holy Cow, it’s Zambrano!

Jon Heyman notes in his latest column that Ted Lilly is set to make his season debut for the Cubs on Saturday and that his return to the rotation will require that someone get sent to the bullpen.  Heyman reports that the Cubs are inclined to keep Tom Gorzelanny in his starting slot, and lord knows that Carlos Zambrano does not exactly have the temperament to live down in the pen.  So who goes? Heyman says Ryan Demptser:

If it’s anyone, Dempster — who makes almost $13 million a year as a
starter but has been a semi-successful closer in the past — might be
the most logical of the four.

Really? This seems like a really shortsighted move to me. Carlos Silva may have 13 innings without an earned run to start off the year, but are we really going to let a couple of April starts from the ballast of the Milton Bradley trade send Ryan Dempster back to the bullpen?

I have faith that Dempster would do just fine in relief, but such a move seems shortsighted to me. I’d much rather sacrifice Gorzelanny or Silva — or even make Zambrano a mopup man now that I think about it — than turn Dempster into a $13 million setup man.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.