Cubs Roster Coming Into Focus and Other News Bits

Dale Sveum reportedly met with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer on Tuesday to go over the final roster decisions and is expected to once again on Friday morning. Sveum would like to have his Opening Day roster finalized before the team leaves Arizona on Thursday.

The Cubs are expected to announce the fifth round of roster cuts on Friday. The Cubs’ spring roster currently stands at 46 players. ESPN Chicago reported that the next round of cuts could be reliever heavy.

Dale Sveum all but announced the Cubs have only two spots left to be filled. It appears, Dave Sappelt will be on the Opening Day roster, as expected, which leaves on spot on the Cubs’ bench … Steve Clevenger and Brian Bogusevic appears to be the leading candidates for the job.

Michael Bowden and Hector Rondon will start the year in the Cubs’ pen, which leaves only one spot up for grabs and it is reportedly between Hisanori Takahashi, Chris Rusin, Casey Coleman, Cory Wade, Jaye Chapman, Blake Parker, Jensen Lewis, Drew Carpenter, Rafael Dolis and Zach Putnam for the last spot.

If the Cubs can create the spot on the 40-man roster, the safe bet would be Hisanori Takahashi … and that would allow the Cubs to keep Chris Rusin in a starting role with the I-Cubs.

Matt Garza

According to a report from Bruce Levine, Matt Garza is pain-free and is a week or so away from throwing off a mound. Reports on Monday suggested it could be the middle of May before Garza would be ready to join the Cubs’ rotation at this point.

Scott Baker

Scott Baker will have his elbow examined by the team doctor, Stephen Gryzlo, on Saturday in Arizona. Baker has been shut down until Dr. Gryzlo is able to determine the extent of the injury to his right elbow. Baker and the Cubs are hopeful this is just a normal set back associated with recovering from Tommy John Surgery.

News Bits

Pat Hughes reported during Thursday night’s game that he spoke with Cubs’ pitching coach Chris Bosio about Jeff Samardzija following his outing in Las Vegas last Saturday. Bosio told Hughes that Jeff Samardzija is experimenting with a change-up this spring.

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Quote of the Day

"Pitching is the cornerstone of most championship teams." – Roger Craig

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  • redlarczykg

    Why isn’t every Cub minor league pitcher learning a change up in A ball? That would be my standard if I were in charge.

    • calicub

      The glaring holes in the previous administration’s development plan are so gaping its astounding Hendry had any successful homegrown major league talent.

      Oh wait…

      Actually, as far as I can tell the only one doing well for themselves is Pagan for his flash in the pan year:

      Theriot considering retirement
      Wuertz cut by the marlins
      Cedeno cut by cards
      Pie is/was on the bubble

      • J Daniel

        Pagan was not home grown he came from the Mets.

        • calicub

          your right i forget about that…

      • triple

        Starlin Castro can fit under the category of JH homegrown talent, but I think we all know that when you make it to the big leagues at 20, the “development plan” of the farm system has little to do with that kind of progress, and it’s more about the individual talent and confidence of the player. Whoever signed his first contract deserves more credit that Hendry.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Castro, Samardzija, Barney, Russell, Castillo, Clevenger and Brett Jackson, all JH homegrown talent. Those guys are terrible!

        • calicub

          As triple already said, Castro is the lone exception and I’d credit Oneri Flieta for that one, not JH.

          Barney is a first pitch hack who needed a Hall of Famer to teach him the right way to play. A hall of famer the previous regime discarded like last weeks garbage.

          Samardjza was down right deplorable his first few years in the Bigs, and only after the previous regime converted him to relief to save face did he finally find his stride.

          Castillo, Clevenger, & BJAX have yet to prove that they are major league caliber players for the long term. BJAX in fact was so horrible in the bigs that the NEW regime had to retool his whole approach at the plate.

          Tell me, from 2008-2011 what successful major leaguers did the Cubs develop and put on the field?

          Aside from relief pitchers, there were no true talents. Theriot, & Soto were up in ’07 and in hindsight, the Cubs should have moved on from them after the 08 or 09 seasons…
          But even those relief pitchers didn’t turn out. Esmailin Caridad? there are others but off the top of my head their names escape me. Additionally many of the pitchers at the higher levels of the system near the end of JH’s regime were so raw that they had trouble even finding the strike zone when they were given the opportunity, and still cant.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I definitely agree that Hendry left our minor leagues in shambles as I’m pretty sure none of his first round picks ever sniffed the major leagues, but I guess my list was based off of useful major leaguers and not all stars.

            So I see your point on Castillo, Clevenger and Jackson as they haven’t proved anything yet. But regardless of they got here or their drafted intention, Barney, Russell and Samardzija are useful major leaguers.

            I guess my point is even a blind guy hits the bullseye every once in a while. :)

          • calicub

            true true. In all honesty, the only above average major leaguer the Cubs have exported or even produced is Sean Marshall.

            A case can be made for theriot as he’s compiled 2 WS rings in the 3 seasons since being traded, but he is still a back up on a contending team (as evidenced by the fact that teams are unwilling to give him a starting position).

      • calicub

        I forgot McGeehee was unable to find a contract in the states and headed to Asia to play.

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      I believe in the past that the former pitching coach (Larry Rothschild) was intent on everyone learning a wicked nasty slider.