As expected, Arodys Vizcaino will not begin the season on an active roster. According to a report from Carrie Muskat, the Cubs have told Arodys Vizcaino that he will be held back in Mesa for Extended Spring Training when camp breaks at the end of March. Vizcaino is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session on Tuesday. Vizcaino could stay in Arizona for a couple of months and is not expected to pitch in any Cactus League games.
The move of keeping Vizcaino in Arizona to rehab will create a much-needed spot on the roster. The Cubs will be able to place Vizcaino on the 60-day DL, which will give the Cubs a spot on the roster to add a player in camp on a non-roster invite … players on the 60-day DL do not count against a team’s 40-man roster.
Matt Garza is expected to start throwing this week, and as long as he does he should have enough time to be ready by Opening Day. When the Cubs shut down Garza for a week last Monday he still had time to get himself ready to start the year on the active roster. As reported, if Garza missed much more than seven days, it would be difficult for him to have the time to be stretched out so he could pitch in games during the first week of the season.
The Cubs are planning on Matt Garza being in the rotation on Opening Day.
Dale Sveum said on Monday that Welington Castillo is his starting catcher, but he has to perform in order to keep the job.
Welington Castillo is really putting the time in on his defense. Castillo worked extensively with Franklin Font and J.C. Boscan on one of the back fields at HoHoKam Park on Sunday … then spent more time on Monday during pre-game warm-up working with Font on the same drills as Sunday. Castillo looked good behind the plate on Monday, and while he was charged with an error, Castillo made two strong throws to second base.
Welington Castillo and Dioner Navarro have developed a good relationship according to a report from ESPN Chicago, but also a rivalry.
Cubs Spring Training News Bits
According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Steve Clevenger has already been told that he will begin the year with the Iowa Cubs. Clevenger is expected to be the everyday catcher in Triple-A with Welington Castillo and Dioner Navarro beginning the year as the Cubs’ catching duo.
Scott Feldman is scheduled to make his Cubs’ debut on Thursday when the Cubs host the A’s at HoHoKam Park. Feldman has been getting his work in early, and trying to condition himself to be ready for day games at Wrigley Field.
Nate Schierholtz was in the Cubs’ original starting lineup for Tuesday … as the first baseman. Schierholtz has a first baseman’s glove, but has never played first base in a game. As it turns out, it was a typo on the lineup card and Schierholtz will not be at first base.
Rafael Dolis was seen wearing a large clock around his neck on Sunday. Dolis was 15 minutes late to a 7:30am meeting and the coaches “gave” him the clock so he would not be late again.
Dale Sveum is apparently happy that Dioner Navarro is on the roster. According to the Sun-Times, Sveum said it is nice to have a backup catcher that can switch hit, that can throw and that can catch.
Dontrelle Willis called the tightness in his shoulder a “minor setback”, said he would overcome it and be back on the field soon.
Brent Lillibridge has all but made the Opening Day roster, Sveum said as much when camp began. Lillibridge gives the Cubs the versatility they are looking for off the bench.