Depending on the report, either Ian Stewart will have to play extremely well over the last two weeks of Cactus League in order to make the team or there is a possibility that Stewart will remain with the team, regardless of how he performs, and could start the season on the DL.
According to multiple reports on Sunday, the earliest that Ian Stewart will see action in a Cactus League game will be Friday. The Cubs were hoping he would be able to play on Wednesday, but his quad is only about 80 percent, and while he was able to take batting practice on Sunday, he is still not able to run. Dale Sveum indicated on Sunday, that if Stewart is able to play by the weekend, he would not make the trip to Las Vegas for the annual Big League Weekend at Cashman Field. Stewart would stay behind in Arizona and face the Royals on Saturday and the A’s on Sunday.
Ian Stewart is confident that he is the Cubs third baseman, even though he has not played a game and his manager said he had to win the job.
The Tribune and the Sun-Times posted conflicting reports on Sunday afternoon, which does not help the situation. The Cubs are facing two deadlines with Stewart, one is March 16 and the other is March 31. If the Cubs cut ties with Stewart before March 16 they owe him 1/6 of his $2 million contract, or $333.000. The Cubs appear to be more than willing to let the first deadline come and go. The next deadline is March 31. If the Cubs decide to move on from Stewart by March 31, it would cost them 1/4 of his contract, or $500,000.
Dale Sveum does not seem too happy with Stewart based on his comments to the media. Sveum said on Sunday that Stewart’s return “seems to be getting pushed back every day.”
The Sun-Times reported “opening the season on the disabled list is not among the options the Cubs are considering as they decide whether to commit to paying Stewart’s full $2 million contract by putting him on the Opening Day roster or pay just $500,000 by releasing him before that.”
The Tribune reported, “Ian Stewart still is not close to returning from his lingering left quad injury, but is likely to make the team even if he starts out the season on the disabled list.”
Ian Stewart told the Tribune that he feels he is the Cubs’ third baseman until they get rid of him. Stewart thinks that when he is healthy and ready to go then he will be the Cubs’ third baseman.
So which one is it? Will the Cubs continue to be patient with Stewart and give him every chance possible? Or will the Cubs make him earn his way onto the team?
Stay Tuned …