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When are Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner coming back?
-Sue, Winnetka IL
If the Cubs have their way, faster than a North Side meter maid tickets you for an expired plate sticker.
Listen to Mike Quade's April 22nd endorsement of the James Russell and Casey Coleman contingent:
"If we have another option, someone who's ready, I would like to explore that."
Here are some of the options the Cubs are exploring:
* Signing the Philly pitching robot. I don't care if it spends its entire existence trying to understand this human emotion called "love;" its 40+ MPH fastball is just as good as Tim Wakefield's.
*Technically, Jennie Finch is a free agent.
* Maybe the Yankees would consider giving back Carlos Silva, since the Cubs will pay him 11 million dollars this season anyway?
Why aren't the Cubs hitting more home runs?
-Derek, Cedar Rapids IA
Let's let Alfonso Soriano, um, field that one:
"It's not easy to play here, especially in April with the cold weather and the wind blowing in all the time," Soriano said.
Of course, as the Trib's Paul Sullivan noted: "The wind was blowing out briskly Tuesday night, but it only seemed to help the Rockies."
So basically the answer is: Too many Cubs failed out of meteorology school.
Should Starlin Castro hit first, second or third?
- M.Q., Chicago
Is Koyie Hill going to play at any point this season?
-Jack, Hammond IN
The backup catcher is a defensive upgrade over Geovany Soto, but the improvement Hill offers on defense is negated by a precipitous drop-off in production at the dish. Even though Soto's power numbers are down early, he still takes plenty of walks . . . to 7-Eleven for Cool Ranch Doritos and Nesquik. The fourth-year starter will start to hit eventually, probably after Sharktopus wraps up on Syfy.
So while Soto is the one who smells like a forest, his bat will keep Hill riding the pine.
I went to the game on Monday and it was miserable outside. Do you think Major League Baseball will ever consider shortening the regular season?
-Ralph, Rockford IL
This makes sense in principal, but what are the chances of poor April weather in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minnesota or Pittsburgh?
In practice, reducing the regular season significantly, say down to 140 games, is essentially asking billionaires to take a couple furlough days. My esteemed colleague, ISIS Agent Lana Kane is an expert in the field of baseball economics and may have some additional thoughts on the matter.
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