Forty-Eight Hours

Mark DeRosa continued to make headlines on Monday for all the wrong reasons. Reports indicated Monday that DeRosa returned to Chicago to be treated for atrial arrhythmia that might include a surgical procedure. The Chicago Tribune described DeRosa’s heart condition as treatable. DeRosa will spend today, his 33rd birthday, weighing his options.

Lou Piniella announced Jon Lieber would start the 5th game of the spring on Monday. So the “starting rotation” for the first 5 Cactus League games….Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Jason Marquis, Ted Lilly and Jon Lieber. Rich Hill will take the mound in “one of those first two gamesaccording to a report on Read on for the rest from Day 13 of Camp Lou, including more on Mark DeRosa.

Mark DeRosa

According to a report in the Tribune, an atrial arrhythmia is:

“A type of irregular heartbeat doctors can correct with medication or a procedure with a heart catheter that involves burning off a pea-sized piece of heart tissue. The treatment has a 98 percent success rate and typically allows athletes to resume their normal routine within a couple of weeks.”

Doctors described DeRosa’s problem as not life-threatening. A report in the Daily Herald indicated he would undergo tests later today with a cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. According to a report on ESPN, if DeRosa elects to have the surgery, it will be an outpatient procedure. DeRosa said he expects to be back on the field by Monday.

News from Mesa

With Mark DeRosa out for at least a week, other players will receive time at second base according to a report on Mike Fontenot, Ronny Cedeno, Alex Cintron or Eric Patterson could get the start in the Cactus League opener on Thursday.

Kosuke Fukudome said his elbow “is fine” and hit “a few ballsout of the park during his batting practice session on Monday. A couple of members of the mainstream media wondered (out loud) over the weekend where his power stroke has been this spring. Lou Piniella said Fukudome was working on hitting the ball to the opposite field (yes, you read that right). Fukudome said the main reason for the power display on Monday…..the wind was blowing out.

Larry Rothschild joined Dave Kaplan on Monday night. The two briefly talked about the Cubs pitching staff. A couple of highlights were…. Kerry Wood and Ryan Dempster have been impressive this spring. Rothschild compared the way Wood is throwing this spring to the way he threw in 2003. He said Ryan Dempster is throwing the ball this spring as well as he has since he’s been in Chicago. Kaplan asked which pitchers have been impressive so far this spring other that Jose Ceda. Rothschild said the young arms in the pen Jim Hendry added over the winter….Tim Lahey and Jose Ascanio but added Billy Petrick has looked good as well.

A report in The Peoria Pundit featured a photo of Kosuke Fukudome….in Blue Pinstripes.

Jim Hendry talked about his team, the 100th anniversary and 2004 with the Associated Press….it is a good read.

No Room In the Rotation?

Lou Piniella saidthis is not the spring for them” referring to the chances of Sean Gallagher and Jeff Samardzija making the big league team out of Spring Training. The veterans in camp will compete for the starting spots in the rotation as long as they remain healthy.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune:

“We’re going to pitch them here in spring training, but this is not a year for this. I hate to say that, but we’ve got veteran pitchers here to consider, and they’re going to get every chance, first and foremost. We like Gallagher. I like Samardzija. They’re good, young starters with good arms. But truthfully, not coming out of camp. I’d be lying if I said that something like that would happen.”

According to multiple reports the last two spots in the rotation are between Jon Lieber, Jason Marquis, Sean Marshall and Ryan Dempster.

The CBOE Seats

According to a report on, the Cubs and the CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange) announced their partnership on Monday. The CBOE will auction off for the first time season tickets to Cubs home games. The Cubs will auction off “the approximately 70 new seats located adjacent to the Cubs’ dugout on the third-base line.” According to the report, the partnership “also includes naming rights to the seats and presenting sponsorship of front-row tickets” at Wrigley Field.

The auction will be held on March 3rd and Ernie Banks will ring the opening bell at the CBOE.

Finally…. Tim Souers at Cubby-Blue illustrates this year’s extra day, Friday, in his unique way.

The Countdown to Mesa has begun…. The Cubs move down the street to HoHoKam after today’s practice at Fitch Park. Two days until the first pitch of the spring!

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax