Notes from Day Seven of Camp Lou

The Chicago Cubs took the field for the first time in 2010 on Tuesday. Day Seven of Camp Lou IV began with the Ricketts family addressing the team and concluded with a full day of practice … for the first time in three days.

Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Starlin Castro reported to camp. Lee and Ramirez addressed their future with the Cubs … and Castro gave a little glimpse of the Cubs’ future.

Tom Ricketts sent the message to the team that the Chicago Cubs are now family.

Here are the notes from day seven … just eight days until the first pitch of the 2010 Cactus League season.

Notes from Mesa

  • Derrek Lee said he would be happy to listen to contract extension offers. The Cubs are not planning on extending any contracts this spring and Lee said he’d prefer not to negotiate a new contract during the season. Lee does not want to be a distraction to the team during the year.
  • The Ricketts family spent the afternoon looking at possible spring training sites. According to a report from ESPN Chicago, the sites are located in East Mesa.
  • Kevin Millar continued to “impress veterans and rookies alike with his uncanny ability to make people laugh and keep them loose.”
  • Aramis Ramirez likes the additions of Marlon Byrd and Xavier Nady.
  • Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker will compete for the second baseman’s job. Fontenot will also get time at shortstop early in Spring Training to see if he is a viable candidate to backup Ryan Theriot.
  • Andres Blanco could make the team as a backup shortstop or the team could pursue a trade during Spring Training for a veteran backup at short.
  • In his first day in camp, Starlin Castro impressed Piniella and reminded him of Edgar Renteria.
  • Lou Piniella said Mike Fontenot needs to swing the bat like he did two years ago.
  • Aramis Ramirez said he is 100% healthy. He worked all off-season preparing for the season by rehabbing his shoulder Monday through Friday for two hours every morning.
  • Ramirez will not think about his opt-out clause until after the season … Ramirez also talked about winning his first gold glove on Tuesday.
  • Lou Piniella said Ryan Theriot would not receive any playing time at second base during the spring … which has led to the speculation that Starlin Castro will not break camp with the Cubs.
  • According to several accounts (Bruce Levine, Ron Santo and Dave Kaplan), Geovany Soto looks like a different player from the one that took the field last year.
  • Bruce Levine has seen Greg Maddux talking to “a lot of the young pitchers one on one.”
  • Derrek Lee took therapy for his neck over the winter.

Alfonso Soriano

According to multiple reports from Bruce Levine, “the Cubs hierarchy was not pleased to hear the comments stated the way they were when Soriano arrived in camp.”

The Cubs were under the impression that Alfonso Soriano was strong and ready to go. The Cubs had their medical staff checking in with him all winter and there had not been any reports of Soriano having setbacks.

Bruce Levine discussed the Soriano situation during his update on the Afternoon Saloon. Levine said Soriano caught the Cubs off-guard and they were shocked about his statements.

Mark O’Neal made a trip down to the Dominican in November to check on Soriano.

Levine spoke with an orthopedic surgeon that told him Soriano’s surgery was just a routine cleanup and he should have been going at full throttle by no later than December 1… and should be way ahead of where he is now.

Soriano said again on Tuesday that his knee is weak.

In his post-practice session with the media, Lou Piniella said Soriano looked good on Tuesday. The knee did not bother him at all.

Boys of Spring

For excellent photos from the first full squad workout, click here to go to Tim Sheridan’s blog, Boys of Spring.

Great shots of Starlin Castro, Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee … just to name a few.



Well, there’s the update … and I am sticking to it!

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Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein