Catching Up on Cubs Spring Training News and Notes

The Cubs 2011 exhibition season has hit the home stretch. Opening Day at Wrigley is two weeks from Friday and Q’s crew still has work to do … and decisions to make.

Jim Hendry and company are expected to announce the second round of roster cuts following Tuesday’s split squad games against the Rockies and A’s … the Spring Training roster currently stands at 58 players after Esmailin Caridad and John Gaub were optioned to Triple-A Iowa last Friday. The Cubs 40-man roster currently stands at 39 players.

A report from the Tribune shot down the Cubs rumored interest in Michael Young. Young’s contract appears to be too much for the Cubs according to the Trib, plus the Matt Garza trade thinned out the Cubs’ system.

The injury bug has hit Camp ‘Q’. Here is the update on several players, including John Grabow and Brad Snyder, plus more on who’s on second …

The Injury Bug
Several players trying to make the Cubs Opening Day roster have been sidelined in recent days.

Augie Ojeda has been dealing with back issues. Ojeda played against the Sox last Friday but was lifted after playing just an inning. Quade said, “It’s a day-to-day thing hopefully.” The Tribune reported Ojeda saw a chiropractor about his back spasms.

Todd Wellemeyer has a strained right hip but is not expected to miss any time.

Brad Snyder is dealing with an oblique strain and has not practiced for a week. The Cubs are not sure when Snyder will return … there is no timetable set on when Snyder will be able to swing a bat.

John Grabow has been dealing with a sore left shoulder. Grabow has been limited to just one Cactus League game, the opener on February 27. Grabow completed a successful side session Monday and is expected to pitch Thursday … if he doesn’t have any setbacks.

Brett Jackson bruised his left shoulder diving for a ball Sunday in Las Vegas. Jackson is listed as day-to-day but could serve as the team’s DH in one of Tuesday’s split squad games.

Who’s on Second?
According to a report from the Tribune, Mike Quade seems content with the duo of Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker at second base. The Cubs would like to see more out of DeWitt, both at the plate and in the field. DeWitt has a minor league option left but the Cubs do not have many left-handed options to platoon with Jeff Baker.

Augie Ojeda and Bobby Scales hit from both sides of the plate and Scott Moore is a lefty. According to the Tribune, all three are unlikely to make the team out of camp.

If DeWitt cannot turn things around, the Cubs might have to go outside of the organization “to find someone to share time with Baker.”

Matt Camp
Carrie Muskat mentioned Matt Camp in one of her reports Monday. Camp has opened eyes this spring and Mike Quade mentioned recently that Camp is always in the middle of things. Camp has played four different positions (shortstop, third base, left field and second base) while hitting .353/.421/.353/.774 (6-for-17, all singles) with two walks and three strikeouts.

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

Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon
  • Kyle Johansen

    i wish the trib would mention why moore is a long shot. from the way things look, with dewitt having an option, moore should be a favorite to make this team right now.

    • Richard Hood

      Because he is doing most of his work against AAA pitchers until this last weekend. Not saying he isn’t going to make the team but we do not need another AAAA player. We already have Colvin.

      • Kyle Johansen

        i like the idea of having an offensive utility guy in addition to the defensive utility guy in darwin. especially now if darwin wins the 2b job, having a guy who can play multiple positions like moore would be nice. he’s proven what he can do in the minors, its time to give him a shot.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    I do not like DeWitt or Baker at second it is about time we look at other people.

    • Redlarczykg

      What is your problem with DeWitt. He doesn’t hit for average or power, can’t run and is a crappy second base man. He’s a perfect Cub. Beside Greg Maddux likes him.

      • Richard Hood

        And that makes you wonder if Maddux is the right guy to be a future executive. GM assisatant GM Scouting guy what ever.

  • Jschoop

    What are the thoughts on Looper as the 5th starter or long man in the pen?

    Statistically, last year wasnt one of his best, but he won 14 games, which places him near the top of our rotation.

  • Janicergood

    have the Cubs went and bumped their heads. this will be another bad season for the Cubs. they don’t seem to want to win. they are sending players back to the minor league that would really help the forever need help CUBS. how do you rationalize keeping or picking up players that no other organization would even want. Cubs need to fire all staff that is making these BAD decisions and completely start over from the TOP DOWN.

    • Richard Hood

      Have they announced anyone yet that is going to the minors camp after today’s games? Normally it is required for a guy to make a decision before it can be BAD or Good.

  • Neil

    Josh Vitters and Jay Jackson are among the 18 cuts today.

  • cubs1967

    at this point in the spring; darwin barney should start at 2b. dewitt looks horrible at the plate and cannot turn a DP to save his life and baker is best for playing against lefties and giving pena and aram time off.

    if barney can muster .260 or .265 w/ 15 bags plus much better D than dewitt; why not……………………OH wait–that’s common sense and we have none cuz we chose quade over ryno.

    nice article in the suntimes today about pena and garza………..and did you know the opt 10 teams to be in the world series since 1945 have been there 94 times………..Cubs—-GOOSEEGG, BABY.

    year 103 of no championships, no clue, and no damn reason to attend a game.

  • Cheryl

    I know Cashner is a management favorite, but I’d send him down to get some work on his control and another pitch to add to his repertoire. Wells has pretty much secured the fourth pitching spot and let someone else hold the spot that might have been his, like Looper, and I don’t mean Silva.If they want anything for Silva he’ll have to pitch a few more times. And, I agree Colvin needs to be sent down for a while.