The First Saturday of Spring

Kerry Wood threw from the mound, Derrek Lee showed up early to camp and Jacque Jones never asked to be traded were among the highlights of day three of Camp Lou.

The trio of Cubs’ pitchers that spent a majority of last season on the DL (Kerry Wood, Mark Prior and Wade Miller) have thrown off the mound just three days into camp. Kerry Wood threw 10 pitches on Saturday and according to a report on Cubs.com, everything went fine. Wade Miller threw another session on Saturday and is expecting to start the season in the rotation. Here is the rest from Mesa….

A Dream Rotation

Most of the questions surrounding the Cubs at the beginning of spring training have been focused on the pitching staff. Many doubt the Cubs will see enough return on the dollar on the contracts they handed out to Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis….throw in the unknown with Rich Hill and many think balls will be flying out of Wrigley this season at a rapid rate. Meanwhile both Wade Miller and Mark Prior have shown up to camp fully expecting to leave Mesa with a spot in the starting rotation. The Cubs have depth and competition for those five precious spots should be interesting to watch. With Neal Cotts expected to be the long man out of the pen, what do the Cubs do with their newest $21 million dollar man if indeed Prior and Miller have a good spring? A starting five of Carlos Zambrano, Rich Hill, Ted Lilly, Mark Prior and Wade Miller would go a long way toward the Cubs accomplishing their goal for the season (note this section was called “A Dream Rotation”).

According to a report on Cubs.com, Wade Miller threw for the second time in three days on Saturday. Miller threw 35 pitches and stated he feels better than he has in 2 years. Carlos Zambrano, Scott Eyre, Ted Lilly, Jason Marquis, Ryan Dempster, Will Ohman and Jeff Samardzija all threw pitches on Saturday.

Derrek Lee

Derrek Lee made his first appearance of the spring on Saturday and took a few swings in the cage according to a report on Cubs.com. He likes the moves the Cubs made in the off-season and made the following statement:

“I love this lineup. I love our depth. If we get good pitching with our lineup, we’ll have a hard time not scoring runs. It should be exciting.”

Jacque Jones

According to a report on Cubs.com, Jacque Jones never asked for a trade this past off-season. Jones is already in Mesa (another good sign) and was asked about his rumored trade request. Jones stated he wants to help the Cubs win and he is not going anywhere at his request. According to the report, Jones did call Lou Piniella “to clear things up”. Jones spent the off-season trying to strengthen his left shoulder with Mark Prior and his trainer. Jones said he was “embarrassed” by the way he threw the ball and the report mentioned he is throwing just fine right now.

“I’m able to get up over the top. I don’t have to fight to find an arm slot. At the end, I was trying to do too much too fast. I feel good about it.”

Jones did say if the Cubs want him to play center he will and he likes the moves the Cubs made this past off-season.

Kerry Wood

As mentioned, Kerry Wood did throw 10 pitches off the mound on Saturday and will be re-evaluated daily according to a report on Cubs.com. Wood made it to the mound quicker than speculated earlier in the week. The report stated his next step would be to raise his pitch count to 25-30 pitches.

Quote of the Day

From Bruce Miles in the Daily Herald:

“I think when I’m out there, I make this club pretty good. Not that they’re not going to be (good) when I’m not here or somebody else isn’t here, but I think I make a pretty significant difference on this ballclub.” – Mark Prior.

Day Three Photos of Camp Lou from Yahoo Sports.com

Well, that’s the latest from the desert and I’m sticking to it!!

Quote of the Day

"Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves." - W Anderson.
Share on Fancred