The Chicago Cubs could enter the season with two pitchers occupying the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation, according to Joe Maddon.
Mike Montgomery and Brett Anderson are competing for the job this spring.
"Neither one has really been stretched out anywhere close to 200 innings over the last couple of years, so we're thinking it's almost like a hybrid moment," Maddon explained. "Almost fold one back into the bullpen for a bit while the other one starts and vice versa. Or jump a sixth guy in there now and then to keep the other guys from being overworked too early."
The Cubs plan to back off the top four pitchers in their rotation, both in spring training and in the regular season, as they prepare to play another seventh-month season.
Utilizing at least six starters throughout the year is part of the overall plan.
"We feel fortunate if everyone stays healthy you have six guys that you like right there," Maddon said. "It's hard for anyone [else] to stay that."