Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Pregame News & Notes

Roster Cuts
The Cubs have reduced their Spring Training roster to 42. Eight more cuts were made today. Blake Parker, Jeff Stevens, and Welington Castillo were optioned to AAA. Five non-roster invites have been sent back to minor league camp: Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, J.R. Mathes, and Bryan LaHair. With these cuts, the Cubs really cleared some pitchers out of camp (6). The biggest surprise among the cuts was Diamond, who I felt had a real chance of making the ballclub. Lefty James Russell is the only non roster pitcher remaining with the team. I also thought Cashner and Mathes would stick around a little longer.

Guzman to have Surgery
Cubs reliever Angel Guzman met with Dr. James Andrews on Thursday and it was decided that Angel will undergo surgery to try to repair the tear in his right shoulder. The operation will take place on Tuesday and there is no timetable for his return.

Ramirez Still Out
Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez was expected to get back into Cactus League action in yesterday's game against the Dodgers. However, Rami is still unable to throw because of his sore right tricep. He is expected to get some at bats in over at Fitch Park in a minor league game on Saturday.

Lilly Throws to Hitters
Ted Lilly threw to hitters for the first time this year yesterday. He is rehabbing from an offseason shoulder surgery. Lilly's moving along faster than expected and could be back in the rotation by mid-April. Ted could get into one Cactus League game before the rest of the team breaks camp.

Other Pitching Updates
The Cactus League rotation was thrown off slightly by Wednesday's off day. Jeff Samardzija worked 3 innings in a minor league intersquad game walking 3 in the second on Wednesday. Sean Marshall did his work yesterday with a 5 inning simulated game at HoHoKam Park while the rest of the team was in Glendale. Jeff Gray, acquired from Oakland this winter, is running out of time to try to make the Opening Day roster. He has been out with a groin injury all spring. Gray tossed three innings of batting practice yesterday, and Carrie Muskat reports that the next step will be a simulated game. We've known that Esmalin Caridad is in the mix for late inning work, but now Bruce Levine adds that Justin Berg is a leader for a setup role.

Today's Game
Randy Wells will take the mound against the White Sox today in Glendale. The game starts at 3:05 CT and will be on CSN Chicago and WGN Radio. Dave van Dyck reports that Aramis Ramirez is still missing from the lineup. Jeff Baker will start at the hot corner in place of Ramirez, and Xavier Nady is scheduled to be the DH.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

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