Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

For openers: Dempster or Garza?

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MESA, Ariz. - Ryan Dempster, the Cubs' veteran right-hander and tenured clubhouse leader? Or Matt Garza, the second-year Cub with the electric stuff and even more electric personality?

Manager Dale Sveum said he's close to making a decision on which one will be his Opening Day starter April 5 against Washington.

``Just kind of waiting to see how things pan out,'' he said, ``but we'll have that done within the next week.''

Dempster, who started last year's opener, goes Monday for the Cubs in their second Cactus League game, against Oakland. Garza, the Cubs' best pitcher last years, starts Tuesday against Colorado.

Sveum said part of the decision will be based on matchups as the Cubs schedule their pitching over the first three or four series.

Other factors: ``Who had the better year, who [matches up best], the leadership, who's been here the longest, longevity of career. You can go on and on about the reasons why.''


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Much as I like Dempster, Garza should be the starter. He simply is a better pitcher, more likely to start the Cubs off with a win.Dempster as number two is solid, but from there things get tougher to call. It will be interesting to see how spring training makes it all play out.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on March 5, 2012 1:09 PM.

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