Moving the Focus to the Field … and Other Notes from Cubs Camp

While pitchers and catchers continued getting their work in during the third day of Cubs Camp, the compensation for Theo Epstein was announced.

Chris Carpenter and a player to be named later were sent to Boston for Theo Epstein and a player to be named later … officially the deal was structured as a player trade to keep within Major League Baseball protocol, Chris Carpenter and a PTBNL for a PTBNL. Both players to be named later are expected to be equal prospects not on either team’s 40-man roster. The trade is expected to be finalized by April 15.

The Cubs still have to send compensation to San Diego for Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod. The hold-up with the Padres has been the compensation going to Boston for Epstein. The deal with San Diego is expected to be completed by the end of Spring Training.

With the roster move Tuesday, the Cubs created a spot on their big league roster. The Cubs’ 40-man roster currently stands at 39.

The position players that are not already in camp report Thursday with the first full squad workout set for Friday … and the Cubs’ kick off their Cactus League schedule in 12 days against the Athletics.

Here is the rest of the update from day three of Cubs camp …

Theo Epstein Compensation
The reactions from the mainstream media were pretty much split on the compensation the Red Sox received for Theo Epstein. For example, David Kaplan liked the deal and Bruce Levine did not. From the fans’ standpoint, for the most part the Cubs’ fans are not happy with Chris Carpenter being shipped to Boston for Theo Epstein … and the Red Sox’s fans are not either because they felt they should have received more for Epstein.

Bud Selig was happy the two teams were able to come to an agreement.

As for the player’s reactions, Josh Vitters said he was sad to see Chris Carpenter leave the organization but glad he is staying with the Cubs. Trey McNutt hates that his roommate and friend was traded to the Red Sox but knows he can handle the changes ahead of him. McNutt rode to Fitch Park with Carpenter Tuesday and had to call his wife to pick him up

Dale Sveum addressed the Carpenter trade with the media and said it the Cubs lost a great arm.

Chris Carpenter handled the trade with class and thanked the Cubs’ organization for a very memorable four years.

Baseball America
Baseball America released their list of the top 100 prospects in the game … and four of the Cubs’ top prospects made the list.

Brett Jackson checked in at number 32, followed by Anthony Rizzo (47), Javier Baez (61) and Matt Szczur (64).

Notes from Cubs Camp
Kerry Wood is the prime set-up man right now for Carlos Marmol.

Dale Sveum mentioned Tuesday that in a perfect world he would like two lefties in the pen. James Russell would like a chance to take over the spot vacated by Sean Marshall but Sveum sees Russell as a lefty specialist for now. Scott Maine, Jeff Beliveau, John Gaub and Trever Miller are in the mix, along with Russell, for the two possible lefty spots. Miller’s experience could end up benefiting the southpaw.

According to a report from ESPN Chicago, James Russell and Trever Miller appear to have the upper hand at the beginning of camp over Scott Maine and John Gaub.

The Cubs pitchers and position players will square off to see who is the most fundamentally sound bunter in the organization. According to a report from ESPN Chicago, there will be two brackets, a 32-man pitchers’ bracket and a 32-man position players’ bracket … and the winner of each bracket will meet in a “championship match-play bunting tournament.” Click here for a photo of how the grounds crew painted a grid on one of the practice fields at Fitch Park.

Dale Sveum is planning on giving Brett Jackson a lot of opportunities this spring. Sveum would like to see what Jackson can do against big league pitching and he has plans of putting him in against Major League pitchers to see how he reacts.

Jamie Quirk is putting motivational messages on the players’ daily schedules.

Tim Sheridan snapped a few shots of Anthony Rizzoclick here for the latest from ‘Boys of Spring.’

News, Notes and Rumors
Bruce Levine thinks Travis Wood and Paul Maholm will join Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza in the Cubs rotation … with the final spot being a competition between Chris Volstad, Jeff Samardzija and Randy Wells.

According to Doug Padilla, the Cubs could be aggressive on Jorge Soler once they can officially start bidding on him. Soler is not a free agent yet but all indications are that it will happen soon.

Doug Padilla thinks Jason Jaramillo could have the edge for the back-up catcher’s job. Steve Clevenger and Welington Castillo will get a shot but due to the fact it is a part-time job, Padilla sees Jaramillo as the favorite.

Quote of the Day
From Jeff Beliveau in the Tribune:

“The new regime, they seem like they mean business. They’re trying to win, and I think they’re going to put guys who perform on the field, which is the way it’s supposed to be. I’m pretty excited. The Rickettses, they keep talking about how they want to build within the system and go younger, so it gives guys like us an opportunity.”

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

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • Smcneil

    Ladies and gentlemen your new phenom: Gerardo Concepcion. I would much rather hear about either of the Jacksons or Sczur or Golden or McNutt. But expect Concepcion announcement today.

  • cubs1967

    Trevor Miller………why??

    ‘cuz 90 losses look so much better than 93??
    i thought JH and Quade left…………Jamarillo/Miller should be nothing more than ST fodder to fill-out B games.

    Castillo needs to play.  One of the young lefties needs to join Russell in the pen.

    Anything else is Quade all over again.

    • Tony_Hall

      Did I miss the final cuts?  I thought Spring Training just started.  

      If you think Castillo needs to play then I am assuming you mean he should in Iowa and Clevenger should be the back-up. What if Clevenger is bad this spring, and they do want Castillo catching everyday?   Then they have Jaramillo to be the back-up in the short term.

      I feel Castillo should be the back-up, if he is our next starting catcher.

      I seem to remember reading that Theo and Jed like Gaub and Beliveau and had thoughts of either of them as the LH set-up guy.  Miller is the same as Jaramillo, just in case the young guys need more time at AAA.

      And C’mon Man – you can’t compare Sveum to QBall in any way, shape, or form.    Until we see game management, you just can’t know his management style, plus the manager doesn’t have the final say on roster moves.

      • cubs1967

        wait till you see Bryd bat 3rd and then tell me Sveum’s bald head doesn’t have some Quade in him.

        • Tony_Hall

          Byrd very well may bat 3rd, but it’s not like there are a lot of great options to start the year.  

          Someone has to be there, and no one should be there, so no matter what, he will have made a bad choice.

          • cubs1967

            no there are not; but bjax, dejesus, castro would be a good start with 2 lefites and the best hitter on the team in the 3 hole………
            and besides; what is the point of koyie jamarillo or trevor grabow being around to begin with……….
            play the kids……..even if castillo only starts 40 games; how will they know if soto can be traded; just do it and THEN find out castillo can’t start 110 games a year…….
            rebuilding or quitting or whatever is a practice year………which should of been last year…..

            i’ve read several magainzes already and they all have Byrd in the 3 hole……that’s gonna cause this site to go nuts and the bald mgr comparision of sveum and quade to begin.

          • RynoTiger

            what?..magazines have Byrd batting 3rd already???? it’s already been decided and put in stone by the magazines????

            well damn it we should boycott those magazines as trash. how dare they already create the lineup without spring training actually occuring. 

            and as we all know, once the magazines or websites create the batting orders, then that’s it…nothing else that a manager can do.

            hell, Sveum might as well pack his bags and head home. we have the magazines and websites to do the managing.  why make any other decisions at this point when they’ve already been made by other people who don’t have any position with the organization?!

            aww hell…let’s just cancel the damn season cause it’s over already!

            a little overly dramatic?

          • cubs1967

            well……look up the term JERK reply and your name is next to it. it’s a disgrace you even use the name RYNO.
            let’s look at my points compared to your jagbag reply.
            one, castro is by far the best hitter on the team; which is the 3 spot in most line-ups. since this year is not a contending year; bat him 3rd and let’s see how he does. maybe he does badly….should we wait till they are contenders to find out?
            2nd, this is a bad line-up and offense; having Byrd bat 3rd proves what for the future? ZERO….so bat Castro or Lahair 3rd.
            3rd, Castillo should be the back-up; who knows maybe he hits great and come July Soto has his usal “up” year and he can be moved letting Castillo start the last 2 months.
            This whole year is to find out what the cubs have and not have; like last year should of been; not to re-try Marlon “Double play” Byrd in the 3 hole or try out Koyie Jamarillo OR Trevor Grabow in the pen…….

            it would do you some good as others on here to understand what rebuilding means; and it has zero to do with Ws or Ls…….that’s several years down the road after Bjax, Rizzo, Vitters ,etc are MLB ready.

          • RynoTiger

            i was trying to be as dramatic and damning and doom and gloom as you have been all winter and spring about every thing that has happened with this team.


          • Dorasaga


          • daverj

            Since the Cubs are not contending this season and there are many weak spots in the line-up, does it really matter which spot in the order Byrd is going to hit?

            I have no problem with Byrd hitting 3rd until he is dealt this summer.

            If this were a team contending for the NL Central title, then I wouldn’t want Byrd batting third … but that’s not the case with the 2012 Cubs.

        • Redlarczykg

          Byrd should fly away as soon as Jackson is ready.  Byrd should bat 6th or 7th.  He proved last year that he’s not an rbi guy.

        • OttawaBob

          What possible joy do you, Tex and Rip  get out of being Cub fans??  For God’s sake, if you guys are this unhappy why not switch allegiance to the White Sox. Or  follow nascar or the wnba. Why in the world put yourselves thru the misery.

          • Coolpdxcubsfan

            Masochists all of us, not just the few you mentioned.

    • Tony_Hall

      Here is the quote from Padilla on the back-up catcher.

      “Jaramillo is the non-roster invitee but at 29 and with more experience than the other candidates he fits the backup role a little better. Clevenger and Castillo will get their chances, but because it’s a part-time role Jaramillo seems to have the edge. ”

      and his opinion of the catchers behind Soto

      “Wouldn’t call them weak, but if Soto goes down they have a lot of question marks.”

      Also remember Padilla is the White Sox blog writer for ESPN Chicago, not the Cubs.

    • Agustinrexach

      Jaramillo is a good player. Not much power but can hit for average and crushes left hand pitching. Has a strong arm and is still very young. Check his minor league stats.

  • joejoed

    Love those Sheridan pics. Barney looks ripped. Hope he can keep the muscle on all season.

  • paulcatanese

    Cubs asked Rizzo if they can win the WS in five years? His response, “why not this year?” Talk about saying what someone wants to hear.

    Grids on the field to show where bunts are supposed to end up?
    Blue marks on the inside of the bags to remind the players?

    No one can say history does not repeat itself, got to be at least a 100 years old with those fundementals.

    What it does say is how far these players are from reality in thier approach to the game.

    I give credit to the Cubs(Theo and Svenum) to return the players to the time of thier youth when those things were taught but forgotten.
    Make it a little game with sides to compete, so they don’t feel like little kids (which they are) in this process.

    They ought to go as far as football and put stars on the batting helmuts
    (I’m not kidding) for getting it right.

    Do not mis-understand, I am not bashing this, but saying it’s a long time coming, and it shouldnt stop there.

    • Redlarczykg

      How about a star on their helmuts for going with the pitch, hitting to the opposite field.

      • paulcatanese

        Sounds good, but I think they need to be able to move the ball 15-20 feet first. Then they would be ready for the next step:)

  • Rye7

    I love how everyone wanted UH gone, and now that he is, everyone is still bit(hing. Theo cleaned house and we got younger. Someone has to be on the field to play and we are a little better and younger than last year. Who cares who bats where and who is in the rotation to start off the year. This is the beginning of a better start SO WHO CARES. We are going to get better and better, not worse, and worse. So let’s be happy there’s something to look forward to. Ya we are going to suck this year, but not as bad as we have been over the last ten years.

    • Rye7

      I ment JH NOT UH

  • paulcatanese

    Looked at “the boys of spring”, whats with all the facial hair?

  • bpot92

    So if I read this right, Carpenter was our 20th best prospect but he is the Sox’s 9th best and their system is better than ours? How does that  make sense

    • cubtex

      Capenter now #8 for Red Sox and was #20 with Cubs. Who has a stronger minor league system?

      • Coachdon

         The correct answer must be Epsteins Red Sox cuz otherwise I’m not sure what Carpenter was given away for.

      • paulcatanese

        Based on the ratings, one would think the Cubs do, but then again where are they, and why arent we winning?:)

      • Neil

        I owe everyone an apology, I passed on bad info earlier today and will post in tomorrow’s article. I retweeted info from twice that is incorrect.

        First, Zach Cates is 22 not 32 and Chris Carpenter was rated as the Cubs’ 5th best prospect by, not 20th.

        I thought it was a mistake after I hit the button. Won’t happen again.

        • paulcatanese

          Well Neil,that blows my analysis out of the water.
          Guess the Cubs rated Carpenter higher than the Sox, oh well.
          Thats ok, keeps the blowhards like myself in check.
          Don’t sweat it.

          • Anthony

            paul, don’t base your analysis on some stupidass ranking, see above

        • Bothevolfan

          Neil, I am just glad to find out that you are human. I had my doubts until today.

        • SuzyS

           Neil, In the several years I’ve been reading the CCO…unlike the Cubs…this is the very first error I’ve seen.  So your fielding/accuracy percentage is still ” all-star quality” in my book.

          • Neil

             Thanks guys for understanding.

    • paulcatanese

      It makes sense for both orginizations. The Red Sox can claim they got a prime player as compensation and the Cubs can claim they gave nothing up, this way they both came out on top. The old propoganda ploy is back.

  • Anthony

    You know, this isn’t meant as a blast, but this concern about prospect rankings, from baldie at mlb, the rags at BA, and every other internet expert really cheapens good baseball talk. These guys are writers, not dirtbags, they never were, they were the pusses who never played.

    Answer me this. Why are some folks so hung up on this craaaap?

    Who cares what these jokers think?

    Did any of you play ball(sounds like Roy Hobbs)?

    What joy do you take if some clown says the Cubs minor leagues rank 5th, 16th, or LAST? It means absolutely Nothing.

    Please. Make every effort to get to watch, know, and learn about all these guys.

    First and foremost, they are all good and talented.

    Secondly, they all have the dream to play in the Show.

    Thirdly, and this comes from every Pro I have met and chatted with that played the game.

    Talent is only one part of who gets paid and who doesn’t. The variables are vast, and the opportunities few.

    Respect the Game.

    Respect the players who play it. And when you criticize, back it up with your own historical observations, not a boxscore, not WAR, and all the other junk used to evaluate. Use your eyes, not some internet schmuuck.

    Thanks, pass the Tylenol!

    • gary3411

       Are the people without the proper scouting skills such as noticing a long swing, hitch, imbalance, etc, but still die hard fans and interested in the cubs prospects allowed to look at the prospect rankings and listen to what the writer’s say because it is interesting, and are curious as to say just how good Chris Carpenter may or may not be?

      If not, what else should they look at or who should they listen to? (again I’m speaking for people without the knowledge or capability or maybe motivation to do it on their own).

    • Tony_Hall

      I will clear my calendar and start watching all major league games, traveling from town to town to watch minor league, college and high school games, and then, if I have time in the day, I will come on here and give my opinion.

      Or maybe I will just keep reading as much as I can that is reported and watch as much as I can, and still state my opinion.  You don’t have to be a scout to be able to have an opinion.  There is nothing wrong with using stats to get a better idea of players, you do know they have become quite popular in the front office of many major league teams.  They might even hire a few guys who never played baseball to help crunch some numbers.

      We all respect the game, would you at least respect all of us on CCO!

  • John_CC

    Paul, et al – I watched a fun BP group; LaHair and Campana! LaHair was smashing the ball then Campana would get up there and you could see how hard he was trying to hurt the ball. His entire body rises with his uppercut as he uncoils. Lots of short line drives and ground balls.

    LaHair is a big dude! Campana is…well…you know.

    Heading back on Friday for the full squad day. 

    • paulcatanese

      Thanks for the report John, I appreciate it. Noticed a photo on the web from AZ with Campana and Rizzo, Campana is trying to grow a beard?
      Tell him for me that facial hair slows the swing down:)

  • SuzyS

    Neil, I just reading a list of prospects for this year’s draft…..At some point…could you go over the details of  the new cba re the draft and international signings…at some point??? My understanding of the nuts and bolts are a little hazy here.

    • Neil

       Will do