folks, i really dislike billy koch. he struggles to throw strikes. he pitches with too many men on. and, to top it off, the jays released him after a horrid spring.
but the truth is that the cub bullpen is weaker this year than last (all the moreso with farnsie's "replacement" headed to iowa) and was not a world-beater last year. there are some quality arms out there, such as remlinger and hawkins (who should be given yet another shot at closing, imo). you can hope for the best out of joe borowski and jon leicester, but you may not get it. and leaning on the likes of todd wellemeyer, michael wuertz, stephen randolph and ryan dempster is a dangerous game, methinks, and one the cubs aren't likely to win.
the cubs are already in an bad way with the starting staff -- phil rogers is stealing from us, btw -- and the bullpen is going to see more work because of it. the argument could easily be made that the cubs pen was actually protected last year by throwing so few innings -- 458.1, second-least in the NL. it's time to take some chances.
koch has something to prove. he still tosses mid-90s, albeit with a pretty straight ball. and he says he understands that he has to pitch, rather than throw. this might be a guy that greg maddux could help. and the cubs plain out need the help.
whether they know it or not yet is another thing.