Saturday, April 01, 2006

Door Opens Wide for Cubs SP Sean Marshall

When one door closes, so the expression goes, another opens, and it has opened wide and high for 6-foot-6 lefty hurler Sean Marshall of the Cubs. Though the team for now has lost the services of starting pitchers Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, both on the outside looking in from the DL, Marshall has surprised coaches by pitching 10 scoreless innings this spring and winning the No. 4 starter's spot. Marshall's sparkling form helped him vault over youthful veteran Jerome Williams, who becomes the bullpen's long man and No. 5 starter. Just 23, Marshall had not been projected to make the club until September of '06 at the earliest, but he has rapidly advanced after tallying 14 wins with a 2.64 ERA in double A last year. It remains to be seen how Marshall will be used if and when Prior or Wood return to the starting rotation.