Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Quick Hits & Radio Recaps

  • Today Aramis Ramirez returned the lineup as the DH in a game against the Royals. Ryan Dempster's outing was solid, but Carlos Marmol came in an allowed a 2 run homer. The Cubs bullpen couldn't hold on to several leads, and the game ended in a 5-5 tie.
  • Ted Lilly will start in a minor league game on Saturday. If there are no setbacks, Lilly could be into the Cubs' rotation by mid-April. He is expected to start the year rehabbing with a farm club.
  • Xavier Nady will not start the season on the DL. He should be playing some outfield in the next 10 days.
  • The Chicago Tribune reports that Jeff Samardzija will likely start the season in the bullpen. It appears that Carlos Silva and Tom Gorzelanny will get spots in the rotation. Lou will announce his final rotation decision on Friday after he gets one more look at Marshall and Gorzelanny.
  • Lou Piniella met with his staff on Sunday night to discuss the roster. He likes the way things are shaping up.
  • Right now the Cubs have 40 guys in camp, but that number will be cut down to the 30 by the end of the week.
  • Greg Maddux has been contributing to the team in a variety of ways this spring.

This past weekend Len Kasper joined the Danny Mac show to talk Cubs:

  • The Cubs offense needs to pick it up in 2010. They have hit the ball very well this spring.
  • The hitters seem to be responding to adjustments made by Rudy Jaramillo.
  • The area of concern has switched to the pitching staff with the injuries to Guzman and Lilly.
  • Len likes to wait to get enthusiastic about a young kid until he is in a big league uniform, but Starlin Castro stands out and looks like a major league ready player.
  • Kasper thinks that Marshall and Samardzija can help the club best as relievers, and you'd like to be able to get as much value out of Carlos Silva as you can.
  • The most likely scenario is Silva and Gorzelanny in the rotation.
  • He is not sure how much of an effect a hitting coach can have on veteran players, but some hitters mesh with certain hitting coaches and clash with others.
  • Len would like to think that Jaramillo will have positive effect on this team. Rudy spending 15 years on one coaching staff shows you how good he is. Larry Rothschild is in his 9th year on the Cubs' staff.
  • Lou Piniella thinks the game 24 hours a day. Nothing gets past him even though he sometimes acts as if he doesn't see things.

Mike Fontenot joined Waddle and Silvy this morning:

  • Fontenot had fun watching the Saints win the Super Bowl this offseason.
  • The guys are having a good time, but they are looking forward to the start of the season. Other than some rain, it's been a good spring.
  • Last year did not turn out the way Mike wanted it for him at the plate, but he is going to try to learn from it and not put any extra pressure on himself.
  • In 2009 he didn't adjust very well to pitchers and things like that. "It just kind of snowballed," he said.
  • Rudy is always very aware of what is going on. He's made a few adjustments to Mike's swing.
  • The Cubs have some great guys in the clubhouse this year. Everyone is having a lot of fun in camp.
  • Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano, and Tyler Colvin are guys who have looked especially good to Fontenot this spring.
  • Starlin Castro is going to be a good player.

Bruce Levine was also on Waddle & Silvy on ESPN 1000 today:

  • If Alfonso Soriano plays 135 games, you should pencil him in for 30 home runs and 90 RBIs.
  • Soriano is going to have less pressure on him and more people on base to drive in hitting sixth.
  • Levine thinks that they'll be men on base on front of Sori and that will work to his advantage.
  • We'll find out the rotation situation on Friday. There is still a question as to whether Samardzija will go to bullpen or AAA-Iowa if he does not make the starting five.
  • The battle between Micah Hoffpauir, Chad Tracy, and Kevin Millar will likely go all the way to the end of camp.
  • Jim Hendry said that the Cubs will not let Tyler Colvin rot on the bench. Colvin will likely start the year getting every day playing time at the minor league level.
  • The Cubs are counting Mike Fontenot and Kosuke Fukudome to hit well from the left side.

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

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