Saturday, March 10, 2012

Reviewing Week 1 of the Cactus League

A week of Cactus League play is in the books. It is great to see and hear baseball action from beautiful Arizona. Regardless of how good the team is expected to be, there is something special about baseball on the North Side of Chicago during the summer. Spring Training is the annual prelude to Opening Day.

The team finished the week with a record of 3-3 through the first six spring games. Two rounds of roster cuts have already been made. Here is a list of the players headed back to minor league camp early.

C Micah Gibbs
RHP Dae-Eun Rhee
RHP Marco Carrillo
RHP Trey McNutt
INF Jonathan Mota
OF Jae-Hoon Ha

The Cubs spring training roster now stands at 57 players.

Yesterday Cubs fans had the chance to see baseball on the television for the first time this season with White Sox broadcasters doing the first Crosstown Showdown game of the year on WGN-TV. Today Len Kasper and Bob Brenly make their 2012 debut on WGN-TV for today's game against the Brewers in Maryvale, which can also be heard on WGN Radio.

Former Cubs star Aramis Ramirez is in the lineup for the Brewers today, hitting cleanup. Dale Sveum is managing against his former team for the first time. Ryan Dempster will pitch for the Cubs, battling ninth in the lineup and becoming the first Cubs pitcher to take some at-bats this spring. Geovany Soto is in the Cubs lineup for the first time today after missing the first six games with a groin injury. Here is the complete starting nine.

David DeJesus, RF
Reed Johnson, LF
Starlin Castro, SS
Bryan LaHair, 1B
Geovany Soto, C
Ian Stewart, 3B
Darwin Barney, 2B
Tony Campana, CF
Ryan Dempster, P

Here is a look at the week ahead.

Sunday @LAD 2:05 CT, WGN-TV, Matt Garza
Monday VS Cin 3:05 CT, WGN Radio, Paul Maholm & Jeff Samardzija
Tuesday @San Francisco 3:05, Chris Volstad
Wednesday VS Milwaukee 3:05, Randy Wells & Travis Wood
Thursday ss VS Arizona 3;05; @Colorado 3:10
Friday VS San Francisco 3:05
Saturday ss @Oakland 3:05; VS Texas 3:05 in Las Vegas
Sunday March 18 ss VS CWS 3:05, VS Texas 3:05 in Las Vegas

Other news and notes from this week-
  • Catcher Jason Jaramillo has been out with sore legs. His chances of making the team have dwindled because of the injury, so the backup catcher's job could come down to Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger.
  • Welington Castillo, Paul Maholm and Casey Coleman have all advanced to the final four in the bunt tournament. The final spot will be determined by a matchup between David DeJesus and Starlin Castro.
  • Carrie Muskat mentioned in her inbox this week that Randy Wells does have one minor league option left. Jeff Samardzija and Marcos Mateo are both out of options, so they would have to clear waivers in order to be sent to Triple-A.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always!

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