Cubs starting pitchers Andrew Cashner & Randy Wells both end up on the DL Wednesday

It’s bad enough to start the season wiht six home games against very mediocre competition and come out of it with only a .500 record.

It’s even worse that your annointed new “ace” Ryan Dempster is responsible for two of those three losses and living up to his old “Dumpster” nickname with a 6.59 ERA.

But now things are getting ridiculous.

Addiing injury to insult, not one, but two Cubs starting pitchers landed on the DL today. Promising rookie, Andrew Cashner and solid vet, Randy Wells both strained themselves to the breaking point—the former: a shoulder, the latter: a forearm.  Preliminary reports say neither suffered structural damage, but Cubs fans are all too familiar with seemingly innocuous minor injuries turning into something far more sinister and prolonged.  And any time a shoulder injury arises in a young pitcher, you’ve really got to worry about his future.

The really sad thing is both pitched extremely well in their initial outings, well enough to give one hope that this revamped 2011 rotation might surprise a lot of people.  Cashner was stellar in his first Major League start on Tuesday, going 5-and-a-third and giving up a single run on only two hits. Wells was looking like he had rebounded from a disappointing  2010 with a solid 6-inning, 1-run outing Monday.

I had hoped the departure of long-time Cubs pitching coach, Larry Rothschild might spell the end of the string of mysterious injuries befalling promising young pitchers that we’ve seen for the better part of the last decade, but it seems like some things never change.  Let’s just hope these situations don’t devolve into the familiar madness of the perpetual cycle of towel drill… simulated game… setback… towel drill… simulated game… setback…

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