The biggest news out of Cubs camp on Monday, other than Kevin Millar’s comedy act, was Lou Piniella announcing Ryan Theriot would be the Cubs leadoff man … at least when the season starts. Piniella said he is 80 percent sure Theriot will hit at the top of his lineup with Kosuke Fukudome hitting in the two-hole.
As for the rest of the Cubs lineup … Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano, Mike Fontenot/Jeff Baker and Geovany Soto will round out the first eight spots in the Cubs lineup.
Mike Fontenot is leading the battle for the Cubs’ starting second baseman’s job. Piniella would like to begin the season with a left-handed hitter in the second and seventh spots in his lineup against right-handed pitchers.
According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs plan to make a smaller amount of roster cuts by Tuesday. Here’s the rest … Notes from Mesa
- Jeff Samardzija will pitch in minor league camp on Wednesday to keep on schedule. The Cubs have St. Patrick’s Day off … their only day off in the Cactus League.
- According to a report from Bruce Levine, Jeff Gray should face live hitters by the end of the week.
- Jeff Baker and Kevin Millar will receive playing time in left field “over the next few weeks” according to a report from ESPN Chicago.
- According to a report from Bruce Levine (on Waddle & Silvy, ESPN 1000), if the season began today, Tyler Colvin would make the team. The Cubs are pleased with the way he has hit the ball … as well as in the field.
- Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez will not return to the lineup until Thursday. The Cubs have a day off on Wednesday. The Cubs begin the second half of their Cactus League schedule against the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch on Thursday afternoon.
- According to a report from the Sun-Times, Andres Blanco is expected to return by the weekend.
- Ted Lilly is expected to face hitters in live batting practice shortly after he returns to camp on Thursday. That is the final step before Lilly would pitch in a Spring Training game.
Rudy Jaramillo on Hitting
Keith Law on Jeff Samardzija
Well, there is the update from Mesa … and I’m sticking to it!
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