The second day of camp got a little spicy after Carlos Silva staked his claim on one of the final two spots in the rotation. Silva is competing for the fourth and fifth spots in Mike Quade’s rotation with Randy Wells, Braden Looper, Todd Wellemeyer, Casey Coleman, James Russell and Andrew Cashner. According to multiple reports from Bruce Levine, the Cubs would like for Andrew Cashner and James Russell to fill those spots, but Carlos Silva has other plans.
Silva said he’s one of the Cubs’ five starters, which would leave only one spot open for competition. According to a report from the Sun-Times, Mike Quade reiterated Tuesday that it is indeed a battle for two spots in the rotation.
Jim Hendry added another arm to the mix on Tuesday when he acquired Robert Coello from the Red Sox. Hendry traded Tony Thomas to Boston for the right-hander, who was recently designated for assignment. Coello was added to the Cubs 40-man roster, which now stands at 39 players. The Reds drafted the former catcher in 2004 and the Angels converted him to a pitcher in 2007. Coello has three minor league options left.
Mike Quade told the media that it is not out of the question that the Cubs could carry three or four lefties in the pen when the season begins … plus, are the Cubs still looking to add a veteran middle infielder to the mix this spring?
Here is the update …
- Paul Sullivan was on WGN Radio on Tuesday night. Sullivan told Dave Kaplan that Carlos Silva does not have a spot in the rotation right now. Silva told Sullivan that he thinks it is ridiculous that he doesn’t have a spot in the rotation. Sullivan thinks Silva’s comments add fuel to the fire.
- Paul Sullivan thinks the biggest concern for the Cubs this year is the defense. The Cubs are going to need great pitching and timely hitting to make up for their defense.
- Several of the players, led by Ryan Dempster, Marlon Byrd and Aramis Ramirez, spoke out at the end of last year in favor of bringing Mike Quade back as the skipper of the Cubs.
- Randy Wells believes he got a bad rap from the media and fans last year for questioning his focus and preparation according to a report from ESPN Chicago. Wells denied the story that circulated last season about him being out partying with the Blackhawks. Wells said he does not go out the night before a start.
- Carlos Silva said he worked a lot on his shoulder in the off-season and it feels really good.
- According to a report from Bruce Miles, Mike Quade said Randy Wells and Carlos Silva “get some benefit because he knows what to expect from them.”
- Tyler Colvin took grounders at first base on Tuesday.
- According to Bruce Miles, John Grabow is 100 percent again and is eager to prove he’s a solid reliever again.
- Mike Quade said it is not out of the question that the Cubs could begin the season with three or four lefties in the pen. The Cubs figure to have an all right-handed rotation on Opening Day.
- Brett Jackson reported to camp on Tuesday. After complementing Tyler Colvin, Jackson told the media he’s “got to get goofy and have a good time” … then proceeded to hit a home run in batting practice that ended up braking the windshield on a car driving by Fitch Park.
- With Matt Sinatro no longer on the coaching staff, Mike Quade will work with the catchers this season … a job he had in the minors.
- For those looking to buy the #10 patch the Cubs are wearing this season in honor of Ron Santo, call the Wrigley Field Ambassadors at 773-388-8270. Proceeds go to Cubs Charities.
Chattin’ with Bruce Levine
Mr. Talkin’ Baseball held his weekly chat on ESPN Chicago, here are the highlights …
- Levine thinks if Starlin Castro was more patient at the plate he could hit leadoff. Right now, Levine sees Castro hitting second, seventh or eighth.
- For Tyler Colvin to get 500 at bats this season, he will likely have to take playing time away from Alfonso Soriano and Marlon Byrd.
- Kosuke Fukudome is going to get consideration for the leadoff spot against right-handed pitchers.
- Levine thinks Ryan Dempster should get the start on Opening Day.
- Casey Coleman is on equal ground with the other six pitchers vying for the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. Greg Maddux is one of Casey Coleman’s biggest supporters.
- The Cubs are not a match with Texas for Michael Young right now. The Cubs have no money to spend. Unless the Rangers are willing to eat a lot of the money, it is unlikely the Cubs will get involved.
- The Cubs would love for Andrew Cashner and James Russell to take the last two spots in the rotation. Levine acknowledged it’s probably not going to happen.
- Jeff Samardzija is almost guaranteed a spot in the bullpen. The Cubs are hoping what he learned as a starter last year pays dividends this season out of the pen.
- Fernando Perez and Reed Johnson will battle for the 25th spot on the team. If the Cubs decide they want speed, Perez could end up with the job.
- The Cubs did not tell Tyler Colvin that he would be backing up Carlos Pena at first until after he reported to camp.
Tidbits from Bruce Levine
Bruce Levine joined the Afternoon Saloon from Mesa on Tuesday. Here are a few of the highlights …
- Six or seven guys are in the mix for the last two spots in the rotation despite what Carlos Silva said on Tuesday.
- Silva said he never lost his job last year … he was forced out of the rotation by injuries.
- The Cubs really want Andrew Cashner in the rotation.
- Jeff Samardzija has been told he’s not competing this spring for a spot in the starting rotation. Samardzija will make the club as a reliever or worse case, is the Cubs will try to trade him.
- According to Levine, Carlos Zambrano and Aramis Ramirez are the keys for the Cubs this season.
- Tyler Colvin is going to get a lot of time in right field this season but Mike Quade has not committed to him being the starter in right. Colvin and Jeff Baker will backup Carlos Pena at first base.
- Jim Hendry would like to add another veteran infielder to the mix this spring. Levine reminded the Afternoon Saloon that Orlando Cabrera is still out there (the Indians are supposed to announce their contract with Cabrera by the end of the week).
Video from Mesa
Well, that’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.