Cubs Watching the Waiver Wire and Other Off Day Notes

With Ian Stewart unavailable for the start of the season, Dale Sveum announced Tuesday that Luis Valbuena would be at third base for the Cubs on Opening Day in Pittsburgh. Valbuena and Brent Lillibridge, who has played his way onto the 25-man roster this spring, figure to share time at third base early in the season. But the Cubs may not be done adding players to their roster.

According to multiple reports, Dale Sveum said Tuesday that the team would continue to look at the waiver wire.

The injury to Ian Stewart has also opened a window for Steve Clevenger to break camp with the team. The team announced early in Spring Training that Clevenger would begin the season as the I-Cubs everyday catcher, and that could still end up what happens. But Clevenger’s ability to play multiple positions (catcher, third and first base) has put him in the mix for a spot on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster.

The Waiver Wire

Dale Sveum explained Tuesday that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are always looking at ways to make the team better.

“There’s no question about it, you’re always looking to better your team. (Whether it’s) a position or a left-hander out of the bullpen – whatever it might be – you’re always looking to do things like that. So whatever comes up on the waiver wire or releases, Theo and Jed are always looking at those kind of things. (We do the same thing): ‘Oh, man, that guy came available. He might fit in here good.’ That’s always going on. That’s just the nature of the game.”

So as team’s start cutting and releasing players as Spring Training comes to an end, the Cubs could end up finding a player or two that could help this season.

Armando Rivero

Patrick Mooney caught up with Jason McLeod on Wednesday at Fitch Park. Mooney asked about the Cubs’ newest signing, free agent right-handed pitcher Armando Rivero.

McLeod said the plan for now is to start Rivero at one of the team’s Class-A affiliates so they can see exactly where he is once he is ready to leave Arizona. McLeod confirmed reports that Armando Rivero will be used as a starter this season, just to build up his innings.

Rafael Dolis

Baseball America confirmed on Wednesday that Rafael Dolis is eligible for a fourth minor league option. Before camp began it was reported that Rafael Dolis was out of minor league options and would have to break camp with the team. The report was accurate in stating that Dolis had used all three of his minor league options.

As reported by the CCO, Dolis is eligible for a fourth minor league option due to service time.

From Baseball America:

Major League Baseball grants a fourth option to teams when a player has five or fewer professional seasons under his belt but has already burned through three optional assignments. For this purpose, the Collective Bargaining Agreement credits a player with a season of service when he spends 90 or more days on the active list during a season.

Hector Rondon is also eligible for a fourth minor league option. But due to the fact he is a Rule 5 Draft pick, he cannot be optioned to the minors unless the Cubs and Indians work out a trade.

Complete List of 23 Players who qualify for a Fourth Minor League Option in 2013

News and Notes

The Cubs have only one spot open in the bullpen with the way the roster is currently constructed. Carlos Marmol, Kyuji Fujikawa, Shawn Camp and James Russell are locks for the backend of the pen. Michael Bowden has not done anything to lose his job this spring, plus he is out of options, and Hector Rondon is a Rule 5 Draft pick that has done everything but pitch on back-to-back days. With six of the seven spots filled, the last spot figures to be between Chris Rusin and Hisanori Takahashi. Either pitcher would give Sveum another lefty as well as a reliever that can pitch multiple innings.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers and Padres are the teams most active on Rick Porcello. The Orioles have also scouted Porcello, but the Red Sox are not currently pursuing him. Rosenthal did not report the Cubs as one of the teams currently in the mix for Rick Porcello.

Ken Rosenthal reported the Yankees are asking around about everybody.

According to a report from Patrick Mooney, Chris Rusin has moved up the Cubs’ starting pitching depth chart. A few weeks back, multiple reports had Drew Carpenter as the sixth starter in the Cubs system, in other words, if another starting pitcher got hurt, Carpenter would have been the first call-up from Triple-A Iowa. Mooney reported that Rusin “is on the radar as the potential No. 6 starter.” Rusin is still in the mix to break camp as the second lefty in the bullpen behind James Russell.

Casey Coleman is building a strong case for the bullpen according to the Sun-Times … but Coleman has no illusions about his odds of breaking camp with the team knowing the Cubs would have to create a spot for him on the 40-man roster.

All Major League teams will wear special ribbons on their uniforms in season openers to honor those lost in the Newtown tragedy.

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Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt