Cashner a Lock for the Cubs Opening Day Roster?

According to a report from the Tribune, the Cubs final roster will be a group decision. Mike Quade will have input on which players will be with him on Opening Day at Wrigley. According to the Trib, Quade “isn’t sure how big a voice he will have in meetings later this month” with Jim Hendry and Randy Bush.

The Cubs have two bench spots, two bullpen spots and two spots in the rotation to be filled before the March 31 deadline.

The Tribune reported Andrew Cashner is considered a lock to begin the season with the Chicago Cubs.

Here’s the rest of the update … including more on the Cubs upcoming roster decisions.

Opening Day Roster
As the Tribune pointed out, most of the Cubs Opening Day roster was decided before pitchers and catchers reported to Fitch Park.

Some of the questions the Cubs must find answers to: Will Carlos Silva make the rotation? Is Reed Johnson or Fernando Perez the team’s fifth outfielder? Augie Ojeda or Darwin Barney? Randy Wells as the team’s fourth starter? Where does Andrew Cashner fit … rotation or bullpen?

According to the Trib, Hendry said “if Quade is adamant about keeping a player who has options remaining, he will tend to go with the manager’s choice.” Hendry added that it is not a mistake to send the wrong player to the minors. The mistake “is if you let the wrong guy go, or release him.”

Mark Riggins will also be a part of the decision making process.

According to the Tribune, Carlos Silva’s contract and Jeff Samardzija being out of options almost guarantees both pitchers make the Opening Day roster.

Click here for the CCO’s 40-man roster … which includes all minor league option and contract information.

Chattin’ with Bruce Levine
Here are the highlights from Mr. Talkin’ Baseball’s Tuesday chat

  • Mike Quade said Monday that he would not make any decisions on the rotation before March 20-26.
  • Brett Jackson could be the Cubs’ leadoff hitter at some point this season. Jackson needs time in Double-A and Triple-A but could be with the team by May or June.
  • Carlos Silva does not look like a viable bullpen option. Getting Silva better and maybe trading him might be the Cubs’ goal.
  • There will be a trade market for Carlos Silva … if he pitches better and the Cubs eat some of his contract.
  • Silva’s location is off and his leaving his fastball and changeup up. Silva has to work on his command.
  • It appears Reed Johnson can still play. The fifth outfielder’s spot is between Johnson and Fernando Perez and it will depend on which type of player the Cubs will want on the bench … a speed player in Perez or a veteran with a strong clubhouse presence in Johnson.
  • Carlos Pena is working on his swing with Rudy Jaramillo. Levine noted that Pena has not made hard contact yet this spring.
  • Alfonso Soriano is the biggest surprise in camp so far. Soriano is driving the ball to right field and his legs appear to be a lot stronger. Soriano went into the gap to his left Monday to make a catch, which was quite shocking according to Levine.
  • Jeff Samardzija has a no-trade clause and that means the Cubs cannot put him on waivers without his permission. Samardzija either makes the team or they pay him his entire salary and release him.

News and Notes
According to a report from Carrie Muskat, James Russell will make his first start of the spring Saturday in Las Vegas. Half of the Cubs roster will play two games at Cashman Field over the weekend. The Cubs play the Reds (Saturday) and the Dodgers (Sunday) while the rest of the roster stays in Mesa and faces the Reds (Saturday) and the Diamondbacks (Sunday).

Carlos Zambrano is scheduled to start Sunday against the Dodgers.

Bruce Miles thinks Todd Wellemeyer could make the Cubs’ roster out of camp.

Carlos Zambrano is one of the leaders in the Cubs’ clubhouse. Not only does he help Carlos Silva but he also gives advice to the young pitchers, such as Andrew Cashner. According to a report from ESPNChicago.com, Zambrano is a willing mentor.

Fernando Perez’s speed is an asset to the Cubs according to a report from Bruce Levine.

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Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

Quote of the Day

"Baseball is all I ever wanted. I could eat, sleep, and dream baseball." - Smoky Joe Wood

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  • Tony_Hall

    This roster is almost set, and has been for quite awhile.

    Perez or R Johnson
    Barney or Augie

    2 pitching spots between many, as Wells is your #4, and Silva and Samardzija will be on the roster baring a trade. Maine should get one of them, and Wellemeyer or Looper will get the other.

    Silva is only owed $6M by the Cubs in 2011, plus his $2M buyout that is on 2012. So, money won’t be a huge problem in a trade, as much as whether or not Silva is capable of pitching still. That is why I say they should of traded him last year, when he was pitching good. They could have saved more money then, they will now. But the Cubs don’t make long term decisions, just short sighted ones. IF, they would make honest long term decisions on players, then Sell High on players, when the timing is right, instead of always Selling Low.

  • Tony_Hall

    Brett Jackson, now being reported will be roaming Wrigley by May/June…I’ve been saying that is his time table all winter. They are going to handle him, just like Castro. Let’s hope that if they wait until May, that they actually wait the extra week or two, to not make Jackson a Super 2, like Castro will be.after the 2012 season. It buys out one more year before arbitration, which can lead to more leverage when offering to buy out those arbitration years, with a club friendly contract.

    • cubs1967

      no shot for him coming up by June unless he’s hitting .350.
      where is he gonna play w/ byrd-sori-fuku-colvin…..which is already a mess as i thought quade had a clue that colving starts and fuku is the back-up……..but already too many signs fuku could start on opening day.
      if fukunuts coult not be traded all off season; how will it get better in may or june???……..it won’t so unless jackson is lights off on AA or AAA; he’ll get his at-bats at least till trading deadline and only come up if cubs are out of it and trade byrd or fuku-more likely the latter;
      other wise; it’s see you in sept jackson and here’s hoping quade plays him unlike last year when castillo-barney-synder-etc sat on the bench so quade could inflate his w-l record so jh could “justify” his hiring……..cuz i’m that stupid and fell for it—NO!!
      hmmmmmm…nice tweet on dewitt struggling on D at 2b……….hmmm-now only if we had a HOF ex-2b most popular cub player around to help him.OR better manage him………….NAH—what am i thinking……..that would be downright commonsense and we have none of that at wrigley—do we JH/PK Ricketts????

      • Tony_Hall

        Jackson will take over CF, when he is ready and I believe, as Levine is reporting, will happen by May/June. Byrd knows this is coming, and will have to maintain his 2010 1st half, level of play, to fight off Jackson. This is highly unlikely he will do this.

        JH will need to make a deal, to move Byrd or Fukudome to clean up the OF situation.

        Fukudome will be starting on Opening Day, and will get lots of playing time in April and into May, as he plays like an All-Star to start the year, and then plays most of the rest of the year, like a AAAA player. I hope that Colvin gets enough playing time, by playing the hot hands.

      • Dakeller80

        I think I agree. Barring injuries, I’m confused why Jackson would get such an early call up, when he’ll certainly get more experience in AAA. Byrd is having an amazing spring so far, Sori is looking surprisingly good, so unless Colvin totally falls apart in April, I can’t imagine Jackson getting called up. I don’t see any way it would help his development or make a measurable improvement to the team. Maybe Fuku will get hot and they can eat his contract and move him.

  • paulcatanese

    Neil great article,but cant really get into posting until later today. Just one thing, Im still chuckling about Zambrano,one of the leaders in the clubhouse? They wll ALL be off there rocker by the end of April. Maybe Im missing somthing here,but it is funny to me. Have a great day.

  • paulcatanese

    Can’t get over the Trib and the comments they make. Apparantly Quade does not have th power to make decisions on who he would like on the roster. Has to pass by JH first. Again from the Trib, Zambrano,leader in the clubhouse,that would be along with Byrd,Wood,Pena,Dempster,etc,etc,etc.It seems theres enough clubhouse leaders to go around the whole league.When do they transfer all of this talent to the field? And Zambrano mentoring Silva,wow thats like the blind leading the blind.

    • chery

      I saw the article.Apparently Quade is trying to get some support behind him, that’s why the decisions by committee. But if he isn’t careful, he’ll just be seen as someone who has no authority whatsoever. I would think Ritters would want more than a yes man as a manager.

    • Tony_Hall

      Paul – The manager never has final say on the roster, even if they think they do. The General Manager is the guy who does the roster management, and makes the final decisions, when it is “close”.

      • Cheryl

        Thanks for the clarification Tony.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    I know a lot of you are thinking this is going to be dumb. But if there has to be a backup for the OF and our young guy is struggling why not ship Colvin to AAA or extended spring training to start the season? That way you can open up a spot for some of the other guys that are actually doing good this spring. I know it is still early but Marquis Smith is impressive and can take over some of the back up 1st duties. That way we can keep Dewitt and Colvin in camp till there defensive struggles are work out. I know it is not going to happen but if we are going to struggle to score runs anyway this year then why not put the best defensive team in the bigs as possible with guys that still have options actually working there way back to the big league roster.

    If you were able to keep Dewitt and Colvin in camp until say May they would realize that they have work to do.

  • Gary J

    I dunno – I’m taking that article about the roster decisions and Quade with a completely different view.

    The comments seem slanted that Hendry is pulling the strings and Quade is just going to have an input but that the ultimate decision isn’t his.

    I read the article and I just think it’s a matter of Quade being prudent. He’s got loads of experience in running a team on the field from his time in the minors, but the idiosyncrasies of arbitration clock and options remaining and all that mumbo jumbo has always been someone else’s problem until now.

    This quote seems to sum it up for me…

    “Jim has been very upfront about all these decisions being mine, But I’m always mindful in any decision of using the people I have available to me. There are things (to consider) as a young manager, even though I’ve been around a while, (like) who has options, what’s their contractual status.”

    From that – sounds to me like the biggest input in the process will come from the manager and who he wants to break camp with. There are other things to consider, but sounds like the hammer belongs to Quade more so than Hendry. But the decision isn’t made in a vacuum either.

    In that case, I don’t think he’s as big a puppet as everyone seems to be making him out to be. To me he’s just being smart and deferring to someone with more experience on all the contracting headaches in order to get their input and make an informed decision.

  • Dmiller

    I like what I’ve seen thus far of Perez. I think his speed, defense and switch hitting could be the difference maker. Reed made a poor throw from left on Sunday-granted it was one throw-but with Soriano in left, the late inning defensive replacement role will be often used.