Cubs Notes and a Rumor … Two Weeks Before Opening Day

The Cubs open the 2010 regular season in Atlanta two weeks from Monday. Lou Piniella and Jim Hendry have decisions to make over the next 13 days … the Cubs still have 40 players on their Spring Training roster.

The Cubs are expected to name their fourth and fifth starters this week … but the injury to Carlos Silva could delay the announcement. Reportedly Piniella will meet with his coaches on Monday afternoon to discuss the Cubs’ bench.

It is 14 days until Opening Day! Here’s the latest, including an update on Jason Frasor

Notes and a Rumor from Arizona

  • There is “no time line” on when Aramis Ramirez return to the lineup according to a report on Cubs.com. Ramirez hit with the regulars on Sunday at HoHoKam Park. Ramirez is “nursing sore triceps.” Reports before Saturday’s games against the A’s and Royals mentioned Ramirez is running and playing catch … just not throwing.
  • Andres Blanco played shortstop in minor league camp on Sunday.
  • Carlos Silva threw 45 more pitches in a bullpen session after he left the game against the Reds. The Cubs are sticking with “he was removed for precautionary reasons.”
  • Greg Maddux scouted games in Phoenix on Saturday and in Tempe on Sunday. Maddux joined Randy Bush and Gary Hughes at the A’s game. On Sunday it was just Maddux and Hughes at the Angels game in Tempe. According to a report on Cubs.com, Maddux will spend the remainder of the spring with “the big league team, in minor league camp and scouting.”
  • According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Cubs will have a “big meeting” after Monday’s game to discuss the final roster spots. Jim Hendry will update at that time “where the team stands on possible trades and options for their 40-man roster.”
  • Speaking of trades, according to a report from Bruce Levine, the Cubs “have had their top scouts looking at right-handed pitcher Jason Frasor.” Frasor would go into the eighth inning setup role if acquired.
  • The Blue Jays continue to scout all of the Cubs’ Spring Training games according to Bruce Levine.
  • The Cubs starting pitcher plans for the next few days: Jeff Samardzija (Monday), Ryan Dempster (Tuesday), Sean Marshall (Wednesday) and Tom Gorzelanny (Thursday). Piniella is expected to announce his starting rotation after Thursday’s game against the Diamondbacks.
  • According to a Lou Piniella, Kevin Millar “brings a lot to the team in regards to veteran experience. There’s no substitute for it, especially on the bench.”
  • Xavier Nady will be available to play in the field by the end of the week.

Well, there is the update from Arizona … and I’m sticking to it!

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