The Cubs are Ready to Get to Work

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’ …

Bruce Miles on Chicago’s Game Day
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 PenaJeff 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.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Well, there’s the update … time for the Cubs to get to work.

Quote of the Day

"Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back." - Diana Frances
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  • Skeldor

    “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”

    That’s the problem with this team, they defer to darn much to their veterans. It’s the beginning of the seasons so who cares that much about experience. It’s not like it’s September or something. If the young guys can play and out perform the veterans then let them play!!

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Silva has a ton of experience over Coleman, too bad his experience is of being Mediocre, out of shape, and injury prone.

      • paulcatanese

        Absolutly right about Silva add Johnson,Ojeda to the mix with their age. By the way Patrick have you read the article that Aaron is asking people to read?

        • Patrick_Schaefer

          Just read it and what it tells me is that Cubs Fans are true fans and not band wagon fans. Look at this website for instance how many of us have been here commenting and posting all winter, go to the Cubs official site and you will see the same thing every article has tons of comments take this article for instance 233 commentshttp://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110203&content_id=16562356&vkey=news_chc&c_id=chc, Cubs fans are knowledgable and follow their team religiously. Go to another cubs blog like TCR (the cub reporter) the article I just looked at had 44 comments. Go to Bleacher nation, Cubbies crib, IVY report and there just way too many to name and you will see tons of articles on the cubs and cubs fans commeting on them. http://twittersportsnet.com/t/cubs hundreds of people on twitter talking about the cubs, Facebook even more cubs fans are everywhere, talking about the Cubs. There are Cubs Fans everywhere across the nation. I read something awhile back saying that average attendance for Cubs road games were thousands more than the other teams average attendance for their home games. You could also say that this article is flawed because there are way more Cubs fans than Sox fans out there.

          • paulcatanese

            Patrick,in essence I believe that’s what i had said”the true fans are on the
            blog” and I agree with you and all of the sites out there.All of it,I agree.
            I am across the nation and am a Cub fan,and there are many out here. The
            comments about the Cubs come from everywhere. It must be true if you say it
            is about attendance being more than some teams at their home games and I do
            not dispute that. You’re article is not flawed because I believe their are
            more Cub fans than White Sox fans out there. I simply stated about what I
            had seen on TV, and didn’t care for it.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Paul I wasn’t diagreeing with you mere stating my opinion on the article that Aaron suggested everybody read. I don’t get the writer of the articles premise that the cubs management aren’t in it to win it. Since the Cubs payroll has been larger that that of the white sox and almost every team in baseball. It seems to me that the Cubs made a large effort to win in 2008. We missed our oppurtunity and now we are riding out the contracts.

            The Ricketts aren’t increasing the ML payroll, but they are wisely adding more money to scouting and development.

            There are millions and millions of Cubs fans and when the Cubs are winning it is very difficult to get tickets. When they are losing people still buy tickets, so they have an oppurtunity to see their team play in person. Since it is so hard to get tickets sometimes.

          • paulcatanese

            Patrick,I know you were not dis-agreeing. Youre posts are among the best on this site and I value them for their accuracy. Along with several others that I really enjoy. Whether you agree or not isn’t even an issue and welcome your’e posts either way even if you chew me out,I know it comes from an expert.

          • paulcatanese

            Patrick one more thing. We (you and I ) are from different times. Things have changed over time and I have viewed my experience’s in another way, for example I paid $3.50 for a box seat and could pick it up at the door. Never saw the Cubs as you do with sold out attendence,and tickets sold in blocks. Never ever saw the upper deck open and could clearly hear the players on the field.Thats probably why I have the opinions that I blogged about. One more thing , never missed a game cause all were televised even doubleheaders,now a thing of the past and we had a TV at work. Anyway I enjoy the posts.

  • Aaron

    a perfect article…and one I hope every fan on the CCO takes to heart:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0213-cubs-white-sox-scorecasti20110211,0,6720087.story

    ****************************************************************************************
    “According to their analysis, which is primarily based on attendance records and the team’s won-loss percentage from 1982-2009, Cubs fans are the least sensitive to the team’s winning percentage, while White Sox fans are among the most sensitive.
    According to Moscowitz, Sox fans have acted more like traditional consumers, and their careful use of their entertainment dollars has created incentives for Sox management.

    “I’m not calling for Cubs fans to boycott, but I think a little bit of tough love would help the Cubs,” he said.

    Nevertheless, he acknowledges Cubs fans are beginning to place more emphasis on results and no longer are content being loveable losers.”

    ****************************************************************************************

    I just hope Cubs fans figure it out soon, or it will be more of: “From the wire: Cubs sign __________________(Reed Johnson, Braden Looper, Augie Ojeda, etc.)” instead of the likes of Milledge, Franceour, etc., players that are still young enough to actually make a difference at the MLB level. None of that will happen until Hendry is jettisoned out of there, because he simply does NOT know how to make signings like that.

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      Aaron:

      That was a very poignant article. As for Lasting Milledge; He has been bagged by the Mets, Nationals and Pirates. He’s a malcontent with funky hair.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R65T7II7FYX7HGQW2XLHDDWJRQ Agustin

      Yup, very nice read, and I tend to agree with you and the author on this…but it’s the nature of the beast. Nevertheless, your exhibits are pretty mediocre players. Franceour, Milledge? oh well they might actually feel like Pujols and Werth compared to Loop and Augie…

    • paulcatanese

      Aaron,read it, liked it ,and agree.

    • Dorasaga

      Aaron, interesting. As a sidenote: Amazon got a quote from the author, a U of C prof, of “Freakonomics.” Sounds like a great book if it they are comparable equals. And I loved Freakonomics.

  • Putter3423

    does anyone know who scottie pods is gonna play with

    • paulcatanese

      I sincerely hope not the Cubs.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Podsednik is a free agent, right now without a team.

  • cubs1967

    Cardinal fans are besides themselves reading comments on the st louis dispatch website. some blame the team for letting pujols get this close to FA. other blame pujols for being greedy. typically the cards are a non-drama team (unlike ours). even if pujols states no conversations during the season; it will be the big white elephant at every step of the season…….as will prince fielder w/ the brewers……..maybe the cubs will be the boring team this year.

    spring is here……….snow or not…………here’s hoping yr 2 of the pk mccaskey regime gets the owners some much needed credibility; of which they have zero so far…….same number of championships the cubs have had recently……..century…….more than.

  • John_CC

    Really – Silva over Cashner? Really? I don’t want to start hating already!