Pitchers and catchers reported to Fitch Park on Sunday … and the biggest news to come out of Mesa centered on Carlos Marmol.
Jim Hendry met with Marmol’s agent, Barry Praver, to further discuss a multi-year contract for Carlos Marmol. A deal is expected to be announced on Monday … a day before Marmol’s arbitration hearing. If the two sides cannot agree to the rumored three-year contract, the Cubs and Marmol have a one-year deal in place to avoid arbitration.
The first on field workout for pitchers and catchers is Monday … position players report on Friday with the first full squad workout on February 19. Here are the updates from Mesa on the eve of the start of Camp ‘Q’ …
The Cubs beat writer for the Daily Herald joined Fred Huebner and Jonathan Hood during Chicago’s Game Day (ESPN 1000) on Sunday morning. Bruce Miles is in Mesa and talked Cubs on the morning pitchers and catchers reported to Fitch Park …
Miles thinks Mike Quade will be more hands-on than Lou Piniella. Piniella was big at delegating responsibility to his coaches. While Quade will delegate, Miles expects the new Cubs’ skipper to be more involved than Piniella was over the last four camps.
Quade showed at the end of last year he was not afraid to get in the face of rookies and veteran players. Quade made sure everyone knew who was in charge. Miles liked what he saw from Quade and is expecting more of the same.
As for Aramis Ramirez, Miles is expecting a big year from him … if he’s healthy. Ramirez is in a contract year and the Cubs own a $16 million option on Aramis for the 2012 season that includes a $2 million buyout.
Miles was asked which two pitchers he thinks begin the season as the fourth and fifth starters in the rotation. Miles feels Randy Wells and Carlos Silva will round out Q’s rotation. Miles really liked what he saw from Casey Coleman at the end of last season but often times it is better to defer to veterans because of their experience.
Miles is expecting Tyler Colvin to see time in right and left field this season.
News, Notes and Tweets from Mesa
Reed Johnson arrived early to camp. He really liked his time with the Cubs and doesn’t mind fighting for a job. Johnson also talked about the importance of team chemistry. According to a report from Bruce Miles, Johnson has an honest shot to make the team.
According to a report from Bruce Miles, Augie Ojeda also has a good shot at making the team out of camp.
Hendry is anxious to see if Braden Looper has anything left in the tank.
Blake DeWitt reported Sunday as well. DeWitt is in the mix to hit at the top of Q’s lineup … but admitted he hasn’t thought about hitting leadoff for the Cubs this season. DeWitt told Bruce Miles that he thinks working with Rudy Jaramillo really helped. He feels the strides he made in the off-season will help throughout the year.
Jim Hendry spent time with Matt Spiegal and Barry Rozner Sunday morning on Hit and Run (670 The Score). Hendry talked about how Carlos Zambrano returned from anger management last season. The Cubs are hoping for the light to have gone on and for Zambrano to pitch the way he did in the second half.
Hendry admitted last June was not the first time the Cubs have dealt with Zambrano’s psychological issues. Click here for a link to the entire interview on the Score.
Tyler Colvin will receive playing time during Spring Training at first base. Multiple reports for weeks have suggested that Colvin would serve as one of the backups to Carlos Pena … Jeff Baker is slated to be the other.
For the Cubs, getting off to a quick start in 2011 will be the key to staying competitive in the NL Central according to a report from Bruce Levine.
Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano or Matt Garza will take the hill on Opening Day. Quade would not commit on Sunday and will “milk it to the last part of camp” because he has a lot of respect for all three pitchers according to a report from the Sun-Times.
According to a report from Carrie Muskat, half of the 30 pitchers in camp are expected to throw off a mound on Monday. The list includes Matt Garza, Carlos Zambrano, Jeff Samardzija, John Grabow, Alberto Cabrera, Jeff Stevens, Scott Maine, Angel Guzman, Ryan Dempster, James Russell, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, Scott Rice, Kyle Smit and Rafael Dolis.
Tim Sheridan shared what he learned during his time at ‘Camp Colvin‘ over the winter. Darwin Barney put on 18 pounds and is hitting the ball with more authority according to Sheridan. The other player that showed big results from ‘Camp Colvin‘ … D.J. LeMahieu. LeMahieu added 19 pounds this winter to his 6’4″ frame. Click here for Sheridan’s full report on Boys of Spring … including photos. It is well worth the time.
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Well, there’s the update … time for the Cubs to get to work.