The next 12 days could be very busy around baseball and especially on the North Side of Chicago. According to several reports, Lou Piniella would like to have his roster, rotation and lineup set by Monday, which would give the Cubs a week before Opening Day to settle in. But there is always a trade or two that could shake things up in Cubs camp….so could the long rumored trade be on the verge of happening? With Andy MacPhail involved, it is doubtful…but who knows it is the third week in March, right?
Here is the latest from the mill, Sean Gallagher and Carlos Zambrano will switch places, updates on Alex Cintron and Chad Fox, Kerry Wood’s pitching schedule, a video from MLB Roundup and a few highlights from Lou Piniella on XM Radio….
Lou Piniella was on XM Radio with Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy on Tuesday afternoon. Piniella talked with his former pitcher about several Cubs topics as the hosts of The Show were broadcasting live from HoHoKam.
The backend of the Cubs bullpen was discussed. Piniella compared Carlos Marmol’s slider to the one Dibble used to throw and added that Marmol does not throw his as hard. Bobby Howry has been in minor league camp getting extra work to try to get him on track according to Piniella.
Piniella told Dibble and Kennedy that Kerry Wood is the front-runner to be the club’s closer and they look to make the decision this week but they are waiting to see how Wood responds to throwing on back-to-back days. Wood is scheduled to throw on Wednesday and again on Thursday and Piniella added they would like to get him an inning plus in each outing.
Piniella is looking to make his cuts and finalize his roster by the end of the week in preparation for the season. He also would like to set the lineup and batting order as well. Piniella stated it is time to move on from the trade rumors and added he is happy with his team.
According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, that is the day Piniella plans on announcing his closer and which of the four pitchers will be in the last two spots in the rotation. Piniella also stated the Cubs will start the season with a 5-man rotation, not a 4-man rotation.
According to a report on Cubs.com, Alex Cintron is hoping the leg injury he suffered in the 8th inning on Tuesday will hold him out for only “two, three days at the most.” Lou Piniella said Cintron could be out for a few of days.
Chad Fox has been sidelined with a triceps strain according to a report in the Chicago Tribune and “will likely start the season in extended spring training or the minors.” Fox is looking at the injury as “a little setback.”
From the Rumor Mill
According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Sean Gallagher will pitch in Carlos Zambrano’s spot in the rotation with the big league club. Zambrano will make his next start in minor league camp while the Tribune speculated Gallagher might be pitching with the Cubs in order to have him pitch in front of the Orioles’ scouts. Zambrano’s next turn in the rotation should have been on Friday against the Rockies in Tucson.
Brian Roberts….Brian Roberts….Ronny Cedeno….Brian Roberts. Had to be done and both players were mentioned in the Baltimore Sun on Tuesday. Bruce Kison, the Orioles scout, was in attendance again on Tuesday.
MLB Roundup and DoublePlayTV.com
MLB Roundup and DoublePlayTV.com emailed the CCO their latest video that features an update on the Brian Roberts trade from Tim Dierkes of MLB TradeRumors.com. The photo used of Donald Veal is one taken by the CCO at the 2007 Cubs Convention.
Finally….Several Cubs’ punk’d strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss on Tuesday according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. Buss’ car, a 1995 Nissan, was destroyed after Buss had driven it to the park on Tuesday morning. After the game, the “guilty players” gave Buss a 2008 Nissan Xterra.