Miller's in; what about Prior? 

March, 27, 2007
It's official: Wade Miller is the Cubs' No. 5 starter. Money quote from Lou Piniella: "He's going to be our fifth starter, OK? He's pitched well in camp. He's earned a spot, period."

Miller has pitched well this spring: 3.63 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 17 innings. All those K's notwithstanding, we still don't know if Miller's fastball has recovered from all the shoulder injuries, but it's nice to see all his hard rehabbing work rewarded.

Meanwhile, Miller winning the job means that Mark Prior can't, and the Cubs probably will try to put him on the disabled list, which will be tricky if Prior claims he's healthy. He doesn't want to go on the DL for the ninth time in his career. He does not want to spend some time with the Cubs' Class AAA team in Iowa, either. This should be an interesting time for Prior's agent.

Meanwhile, it's more of the same for Kerry Wood. I've come to think the Cubs might be better off without both of them. Yes, management will look silly if one or both of their oft-injured ex-stars somehow get healthy and pitch well somewhere else. But the Cubs have spent a great deal of organizational capital on these guys over the last two years and received very little in return. Maybe it's just time to move on.