Let's assume nobody gets traded, and the Cubs head into the season with 7 options for the 5 starting spots. Who do you predict makes the rotation?
To me, there are 4 guarantees: Garza, Jackson, Samardzija, and Feldman. Feldman was basically guaranteed a spot in the rotation by Hoyer when we signed him. Hoyer even said that Feldman wouldn't have to battle for a spot.
That leaves Baker, Wood, and Villanueva for the 5th spot.
Baker is clearly the best pitcher of the 3, but might not be ready for the start of the season, coming off injury. Villanueva has been a better reliever than starter, but had a very successful 2 month stretch as a starter last year, where he posted a low 3 ERA and almost a strikeout per inning.
My opening day guess is: Garza, Samardzija, Jackson, Feldman, Villanueva. Baker will join the rotation and bump Villanueva to bullpen/spot starter. Wood will start in AAA and will be ready if we trade someone in June or July. What do you all think?