Friday, February 26, 2010

Catching Up on Cub Camp

First of all, sorry about the lack of everyday posting this week! It's been a busy one for me and for the Cubs, as we have lots of notes to get to!
  • Yesterday was Ron Santo's 70th birthday! Ronny will start yet another season in the Cubs' organization when he joins Pat Hughes at the WGN Radio mic when the Cubs kick off Spring Training next Thursday!
  • Carlos Zambrano is expected to be the Cubs Opening Day starter.
  • Yesterday farm hand Rafael Dolis nailed Ryan Theriot with a fastball in live Batting Practice. There is no need for concern, because Ryan is OK.
  • Alfonso Soriano has arrived in Mesa. He says that he did not run on his knee 100% this offseason, but he is surprised at how good it feels.
  • Angel Guzman, who was already sidelined for the start of practices because of a knee surgery, now has complained of shoulder pain as well. He still could be ready for Opening Day, but if these injuries continue the Cubs definitely need a right handed setup man.
  • Ted Lilly was absent from Cub camp the past few days because he is ill. According to Jim Hendy, his fever is at 102 or 103. Carrie Muskat reports that Lilly was back in camp today.
  • Jeff Gray, who is out with a groin injury, should be ready to pitch sometime next week.
  • Cubs manager Lou Piniella is expecting more from guys like Soto, Soriano, and Kosuke this year.
  • Esmalin Caridad has secured a spot in Lou's bullpen. Piniella is showing the confidence is Caridad that he showed with Theriot when he told him he made the team early in the 2007 camp. Hopefully this confidence will help Esmalin!
  • Starlin Castro has continued to impress Cubs' brass in practices and workouts. Lou says that he would not hesitate to call this kid up if need be.
  • Ozzie Guillen, the manager of that other Chicago club, has been using Twitter. Piniella says that he would never consider tweeting.
  • Check out this great video of a practice at Fitch Park from "Boys of Spring".
  • The Cub pitchers have been sorted into an "A" team and a "B" team. The B squad is made up of Mitch Atkins Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, Jeff Kennard, Marcos Mateo, J.R. Mathes, Mike Parisi, Blake Parker, David Patton, Vince Perkins, James Russell, and Jeff Stevens. The rest of the guys (Dempster, Zambrano, Wells, Marmol, Silva, Gaub, Grabow, Marshall, Dolis, Berg, Gorzelanny, and Caridad) were on the "A" team. Jeff Samardzija and Andrew Cashner through BP separately from the rest of the guys.
  • The Ricketts family showed up in camp for the first time on Tuesday. Tom's message was that the organization is now a family.
  • Andres Blanco could make the team as a backup player, or the team could try to trade him before Opening Day.
  • Kevin Millar has done a great job of keeping things loose out in the valley.
  • Aramis Ramirez likes the additions of Marlon Byrd and Xavier Nady. Rami says he's 100% healthy.
  • Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker will compete for the starting second base job.
  • Derrek Lee would love to return to the club for the 2011 season, but he does not want his contract situation to be a distraction to the team during this season.
  • Jeff Samardzija has been pitching well so far this spring, but it's still early.
  • The MLB Network will televise the Cub Spring Training games on March 23 VS KC and March 26 VS Oakland. In addition to this two games, which brings the Cubs ST TV total to 11, they will also carry the April 1 VS the Rockies game, which is also on CSN. All of these games start at 3 CT.

That's it for now, but there's a lot more to come this weekend!

Remember, it's the final weekend before Cactus League play!

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