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And then there were four in rotation

The Sports Xchange
 
And then there were four in rotation · Roster Report · Notes, Quotes
 

It's not a throwback look, per se, but the Cubs will be going with an old-fashioned four-man pitching rotation for the foreseeable future.

For that, they can thank the schedule.

With off days coming up Thursday and again Monday, manager Mike Quade said before Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Dodgers that he'll use the extra time off to skip No. 5 starter James Russell, who has struggled in his four starts. Russell and youngster Casey Coleman have been in the rotation in place of injured pitchers Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner, who have been on the disabled list since April 8.

The Cubs won't need a fifth starter until May 14. Until then, they'll go with a foursome of Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Matt Garza and Coleman.

Russell opened the season in the bullpen, where he had success. However, he could not get through five innings in any of his four starts. Now the Cubs can give him a few days rest and go back to using him as a situational lefty against left-handed hitters.

It might be two more weeks before Wells is ready. Cashner could follow two weeks after that. The Cubs have veteran pitchers Ramon Ortiz and Doug Davis in the minor leagues, but neither Quade nor GM Jim Hendry has said who will pitch when the club needs a fifth starter.

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