Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Pregame Quick Hits & Radio Recaps

Update 2:55 CT: According to Judd Sirott of WGN Radio & Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times the Cubs have traded Andres Blanco to the Texas Rangers for a PTBNL or Cash.

To start, let's take a look at the Cubs' starting lineup for today's game against the Padres in Mesa:

Colvin, RF
Baker, 2B
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Byrd, CF
Millar, LF
Soto, C
Blanco, SS
Silva, P

This will be Silva's first start since leaving the game against the Reds on March 21 with a tight quad. The game starts at 3:05 CT and in on WGN-TV & WGN Radio.

Now for some other notes:
  • The Cubs are expected to make the final roster decisions on Tuesday according to Carrie Muskat.
  • Bruce Levine reports that the Cubs still have interest in Blue Jays reliever Jason Frasor. The Jays asked for Andrew Cashner, but the Cubs will not part with the young hurler.
  • Levine also says that Andres Blanco is on the trading block. The Texas Rangers have some interest.
  • Xavier Nady will start in the outfield tomorrow and then play first base in a minor league game on Monday.
  • The Cubs will have all the regulars in the lineup for the second and final night game of the spring when they take on the D'backs at Chase Field.
  • Carlos Marmol is looking forward to the end of Spring Training. He blames his bad outing yesterday on the fact that he cannot throw his slider in Arizona.
  • Bruce Miles says that Ted Lilly had no problems in the 2 minor league innings he tossed yesterday.
  • Jeff Samardzija is a little disappointed that he will not be in the starting rotation.
  • "Sports Central", which I use often for Cubs' info and radio recaps, will be removed from the WGN Radio lineup on April 12. Host David Kaplan will now focus on covering the Cubs for WGN 720. Kap will host an expanded Cubs postgame show called "The 10th inning". He will also host a new weekend show called "Cubs Insider" and some pregame features.

Bruce Levine and Jonathan Hood were joined by Jim Hendry this morning on Talkin' Baseball on ESPN 1000. Here's the recap:

  • The Cubs pitching staff has done well in Spring Training.
  • They are happy that a lot of their pitchers have come up through the system.
  • The really good news is that Ted Lilly is on target to pitch in the big leagues no later than the third week of April.
  • Hendry is not concerned about the lack of experience in the bullpen. They have John Grabow who has lots of experience and Sean Marshall who has been around awhile. They also think that Samardzija is ready to take the next step up.
  • The Cubs also have 3-4 pitchers waiting in Iowa if somebody falters.
  • Chris Robinson will not be making the club and he knows that. That leaves 29 guys for 25 spots.
  • Koyie Hill, Jeff Baker, and Xavier Nady will all be on the bench to start the season. Nady will start the year playing a few days a week in the field.
  • Tyler Colvin has been outstanding in camp. Kevin Millar brings other things to the table, but he hits from the right side and is limited in the amount of positions he can play.
  • The Cubs feel like they'll have a really good five man bench to start the year.
  • Lou and Jim have a great relationship, but at the end of the day it's the GM jobs to put the final roster together and the manager's job to manage the club he is given.
  • Yesterday Lou, Jim, and Randy discussed the bench for about 30 minutes.
  • The NL Central has been a very good division the last 3-4 years. The Cardinals didn't get in Lou's first two years, but they won the division last year.
  • The Brewers and Cards will both be very good, the Reds will be much better, and the Cubs will be much better according to Hendry. The Astros could be factors and the Pirates are making progress.
  • "Lou and I have a really good relationship, and we've never even really worried about next year."

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

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