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Cubs Send Reliever Russell To Start, Once Again, Against Dodgers

The Cubs have been searching for replacements for Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner in their starting rotation ever since those two went down with injuries with less than a week gone in the 2011 season.

Casey Coleman did all right for a while, but overall he's been a disappointment. And James Russell, who is better suited for relief, has been... bad. In 9.2 innings, he's given up 16 hits and four walks and six home runs. That, in most rotations, would get you sent to the minors.

The Cubs say they don't really have any other options, so Russell will be sent out to slaughter face the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. That has prompted Dodgers manager Don Mattingly to start Marcus Thames in left field. Thames has started only six games so far this year, but he has exhibited good pop in his career against lefthanders.

That doesn't bode well for the Cubs. Fortunately, they don't need a fifth starter again until May 14, by which time Doug Davis (or maybe Todd Wellemeyer) will be healthy enough and ready to go.

If you want to watch the potential carnage, it'll be on CSN Chicago at 9 p.m. CDT.