McNutt Still a Possibility in Epstein Compensation? … and Other Notes from Cubs Camp

Day two of Cubs Camp was more PFPs and pitchers getting their work in before the position players that are not already in camp report Thursday … the first full squad workout is Friday.

Trey McNutt discussed his off-season with Carrie Muskat and his willingness to play the waiting game. McNutt has been connected to the Theo Epstein compensation all off-season and it apparently had an effect on him in the AFL. McNutt has been told by his agent that he could still be sent to Boston as compensation for Epstein and he is reserved to the fact he could end up wearing a “C” or a “B” on his cap this season.

Tuesday marks the four month anniversary of Theo Epstein resigning from his post in Boston and taking over baseball operations for the Cubs. Bud Selig’s decision on the compensation was expected last week.

According to a report from ESPN Boston last weekend, the Red Sox are hopeful of acquiring one quality minor league prospect from the Cubs. The report also stated that the Sox also realize the compensation will not be one of the Cubs’ premium prospects, like a Brett Jackson or Josh Vitters. Trey McNutt would fall under the category of premium prospect, the big right-hander is the top pitching prospect in the Cubs’ system according to Baseball America.

Here’s the update …

Blake DeWitt
Blake DeWitt decided to accept the outright assignment to Triple-A Iowa and will compete for a spot as a non-roster invite to big league camp. DeWitt had until Wednesday to decide to keep his $1.1 million contract and compete for a spot on the Cubs’ 25-man roster this spring … the Cubs announced he has decided to stay with the organization. If he does not make the active roster out of camp, DeWitt will start the season with Iowa Cubs.

No More Cutter for Carlos
Not only did Carlos Marmol drop between 10-15 pounds this off-season but he also lost a pitch on the first day of camp. Carlos Marmol will no longer throw a cutter.

Dale Sveum noticed the problem last year while he was studying tape of Marmol preparing Brewers’ hitters. They could not figure out what he was throwing and thought it was just a bad slider.

According to a report from Carrie Muskat, Marmol “admitted the cutter gave him problems and was part of the reason his mechanics were messed up” last season.

Chris Bosio helped Marmol correct some mechanical issues and kept Marmol on track during his first day on the mound.

News, Notes and Rumors
Jeff Samardzija is in the mix for a starting spot, as reported over the weekend. Samardzija will compete with Randy Wells, Chris Volstad, Travis Wood and Andy Sonnanstine for a spot in the rotation.

Tim Sheridan posted pics from Sunday’s workout on ‘Boys of Spring’ and more photos Monday night … including one of a clean-cut Brett Jackson.

Bryan LaHair was informed by Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein early in the off-season to ignore the rumors about the Cubs signing either Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols. The Cubs apparently did not have much interest in signing either free agent first baseman … and Theo Epstein really wanted to give LaHair an opportunity.

James Russell reiterated Monday what he said after Sean Marshall was traded to the Reds … Russell wants the set-up job.

The Cubs pitchers will have a match-play bunting tournament during Spring Training … the smart money would be on Ryan Dempster.

Dale Sveum is unsure where to hit Starlin Castro in the lineup … but seems fine to let Castro dictate what spot he ends up hitting in this season.

John Gaub did not participate in drills Sunday due to back spasms. Gaub suffered the injury last week lifting weights and is expected back in a few days.

The Cubs have the inside corners of the bases painted blue so baserunners can hit the inside part of the bag.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs plan to bring in experts from Northeastern University’s Center for Sport in Society to speak to minor leaguers and Major League players about conduct away from the ballpark.

A report surfaced Sunday that the Cubs had signed Nate Robertson to a minor league contract … as of this writing the report cannot be confirmed.

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

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Quote of the Day

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