Weekend Update…Cubs at the Halfway Point

The Cubs open up the regular season three weeks from Monday in Houston in a match-up that the Astros have been looking forward to all winter. The first game figures to see Roy Oswalt on the mound for Cecil Cooper while Carlos Zambrano will take the ball for Lou Piniella.

Piniella said on Saturday that if the “regular season started today” then Mike Fontenot would be the Cubs’ starting second baseman and hit sixth in the lineup. That lineup decision is still quite a few days away. Piniella said his lineup would feature Kosuke Fukudome in the two hole with Milton Bradley fourth and Fontenot sixth. While one report left the door open for Piniella to change his mind, the Tribune reported that Piniella named Fontenot the starter over Aaron Miles.

Here’s the latest from Mesa on a day after Team USA was beaten 11-1 in 7 innings by Team Puerto Rico…

Kevin Gregg

The former Marlin was asked on Saturday about the Cubs’ closer job. Gregg made it very clear he wants to close games for Lou Piniella.

Corey Koskie

According to a report from Cubs.com, Corey Koskie passed his physical and began working out with the Cubs on Saturday. Koskie could be a big pick-up for the Cubs if he is healthy.

Koskie was the happiest of all the players on the field Saturday at HoHoKam Park according to a report from Cubs.com. While Koskie was on Team Canada’s roster, he did not play in the actual games, just an exhibition in preparation of the tournament.

Aaron Heilman

As everyday passes it is becoming clear that Sean Marshall will be the Cubs’ fifth starter when the season begins. Aaron Heilman was slated to pitch three innings on Saturday, ended up going just two and Lou Piniella said he likes Heilman in the seventh inning role.

It appears Heilman is destined to start the season in the bullpen

Other Tidbits

According to a report from the Tribune, the next round of cuts are expected to come on Monday involving at least eight players.

According to Bruce Miles, Angel Guzman is unlikely to make the team out of Spring Training. With Guzman out of options, the Cubs will have to trade him or risk losing their one-time top-pitching prospect for nothing.

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

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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