According to multiple reports, the Cubs brass met following Wednesday’s game against the Indians to figure out the final three to four spots on the Opening Day Roster. Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Randy Bush, Dale Sveum and the coaching staff were expected to decide the Opening Day rotation as well as if Welington Castillo or Steve Clevenger will begin the season as the back-up to Geovany Soto.
The decisions on the final two to three spots in the pen could take a few more days. Depending on the report, the Cubs have as many as three spots still available with Shawn Camp, Lendy Castillo, Casey Coleman, Frankie De La Cruz, Manny Corpas, Rodrigo Lopez, Scott Maine and Randy Wells still in the mix.
The Cubs are expected to announce several spring roster cuts Thursday morning … and if Blake DeWitt and Joe Mather take two spots on the Cubs’ bench, at least one move will have to be made on the 40-man roster to create a spot. The Cubs’ big league roster currently sits at 39 players.
After a rough start to the spring, Manny Corpas may actually make the team. Corpas was signed to a split contract in December and added to the 40-man roster. Corpas was removed from the 40-man roster in late January (to make room for Kerry Wood), cleared waivers and received a non-roster invite to big league camp.
Corpas was horrible over the first couple of weeks of camp but has pitched better of late. Corpas caught the attention of Dale Sveum … and the Cubs’ skipper pointed out Corpas has pitched just as good as anyone else in camp over his last three appearances.
Backin’ Up Soto
Welington Castillo or Steve Clevenger? Steve Clevenger or Welington Castillo? And it depends on the report on which one as the edge over the other. Both catchers have had good camps and one thing for is for sure, for the first time in many years the Cubs will not have a veteran catcher as their back-up.
The fact Steve Clevenger hits from the left-side could give him an advantage, plus Welington Castillo needs to play every day in order to work on his defense and game calling. Oneri Fleita has always been high on Welington Castillo and what he could, one day, bring to the table.
News, Notes and Rumors
According to a report from Bruce Levine, a few clubs, including the Atlanta Braves, have watched Marlon Byrd all spring and have approached the Cubs about a deal.
Randy Wells’ scheduled appearance for Wednesday was scrapped by the staff according to the Sun-Times. Wells is still scheduled to start Sunday’s game against the Angels in Tempe and Dale Sveum would like to stretch him out as far as possible.
Several teams have contacted the Cubs to see if Randy Wells is available.
Could Alfredo Amezaga make the team? According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Amezaga isn’t completely out of consideration because the switch-hitter can play shortstop. The Cubs do not have a back-up infielder that can play shortstop and if Blake DeWitt makes the Opening Day roster, as expected, the Cubs back-up shortstop would be Darwin Barney.
According to a report from Bruce Levine, if the Cubs make any trades they would be looking to acquire a lefty for the bullpen.
Chris Carpenter will undergo surgery on his right elbow to remove bone spurs Thursday. Carpenter made the announcement on his Twitter account. Ben Cherington confirmed the surgery with the Boston media and would not comment if Carpenter’s injury pre-dated the February 21 trade with the Cubs.
Will there be any surprises on Thursday?
Stay Tuned …
Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO