Are the Cubs Still Hoping Mike Olt Will Grab the Third Base Job? And Other News and Notes

Mike Olt said he was feeling better prior to Tuesday’s game after receiving a massage and treatment on his right shoulder. And he proved it against his former team. Olt hit a two-run homer off of Alexi Ogando and drove in another run with a sacrifice fly.

CubsMesaLogo-pubMike Olt and Rick Renteria said Tuesday that if all goes as planned that Olt would make his Cubs’ debut at third base on Wednesday night in Scottsdale against the Rockies. Patrick Mooney reported the Cubs are hoping Olt will be able to play third base on Wednesday and make a push for a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Counting Wednesday’s game against the Rockies, the Cubs have 12 games left on the spring schedule. Olt is 8-for-31 in 10 games this spring with four home runs, nine RBI, one walk and 12 strikeouts (.258/.273/.645/.918). And if Mike Olt is going to be at third base on Opening Day in Pittsburgh, he’s going to have to show his shoulder can handle playing the hot corner.

Starlin Castro

Starlin Castro participated in batting practice Tuesday. And one day after declaring he was about at 80 percent, Castro said Tuesday he is getting close to returning to the lineup. Castro said he is about at 90 percent in his recovery from a right hamstring strain.

According to a report from Mark Gonzales, Castro said everything felt good after going through a series of drills that included taking grounders, hitting on the field, making throws and running (straight line, turning). Castro has been able to push off with his right leg according to a report from Carrie Muskat. The Cubs did not say when Castro would be back in the lineup.

James McDonald

James McDonald met with the beat writers on Tuesday and said his shoulder is not as bad as it was last year. McDonald described the issues in his right shoulder as inflammation and tendinitis symptoms according to Patrick Mooney. McDonald will take a couple of days off then see how it feels at that point.

According to ESPN Chicago, McDonald said his shoulder felt a little sore during warm ups.

McDonald is trying to make the team out of camp and while the Cubs are not calling this a setback, the time away from the mound will not help his cause. As ESPN Chicago pointed out, the one-year contract he signed is not guaranteed.

Javier Baez

Javier Baez played second base again Tuesday night. And after handling all four chances on Monday without any issues, Baez committed an error in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game. Before the game, Baez said playing second base on Monday “was weird at first” but he said he got used to it. Baez is expected to see time at third base before he is reassigned to minor league camp.

According to multiple reports, the Cubs have been working with Baez to stay on his toes and to not throw flat footed. Baez has been working on his defense with Gary Jones.

In regards to playing second base, Javier Baez said, “It will take time to get used to that position.”

Other than the error, Baez looked good at second base on Tuesday, especially in the ninth inning when he handled a chopper off the bat of Jurickson Profar and threw him out at first base with ease. Baez looked smooth on that play.

Roster Moves

The Cubs made eight roster moves prior to Tuesday’s game against the Rangers. The Cubs optioned Arodys Vizcaino, Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, Zac Rosscup and Christian Villanueva to Triple-A Iowa. Mitch Maier, Armando Rivero and Rafael Lopez were reassigned to minor league camp.

After the fourth round of roster cuts, the Cubs spring roster officially stands at 45 players.

On sending Arodys Vizcaino to Triple-A Iowa to start the season, Rick Renteria said the Cubs are being cautious with Vizcaino and by having him start the year in Triple-A it gives the organization “a controlled environment” to make sure he keeps pitching and avoids the disabled list.

Also by starting Arodys Vizcaino in Triple-A, it delays his clock and if they keep him down in the minors long enough they will gain another year of control.

News and Notes

Rick Renteria announced Tuesday his pitching rotation for the rest of the week. Carlos Villanueva will face the Rockies on Wednesday. Jeff Samardzija starts against the Mariners at Cubs Park on Thursday. Tsuyoshi Wada will throw in a minor league game on Thursday. Chris Rusin gets the White Sox in Glendale on Friday. Travis Wood will get his work in on Friday in a minor league game.

Keith Law posted a report on 10 players he thinks might have breakout performances this season. Law said he’s gone back and forth on Anthony Rizzo due to his inconsistent swing. Law said, “He keeps changing his load, often for the worse, which makes him for strikeout prone and particularly vulnerable to left-handed pitchers. His hands aren’t quite as low this spring as they were last year, but he’s still in a state of constant flux with his mechanics and doesn’t keep his weight back as well as he once did. All that aside, I still think there’s long-term potential because he has a good eye and enough raw power to eventually post a 30-homer season. His hit tool lags behind his other tools and probably will until he locks himself into a more consistent swing and mechanical approach.”

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  • Texan Cub 9

    Someone needs to tell Olt this isn’t the AL. MEN play in the National League and if he can’t play defense he is useless.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      He’s been basically hurt. He’ll play tonight I believe. You a professional athlete or somethig? You might think twice before you go trying o dictate to a professional athlete what a “man,” is. Or to Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez or Paul Molitor specifically. Those seemed like men to me.

      That man, Olt, has 4 HR in spring training. What have you accomplished the past few weeks?

      • Tony_H

        Olt has been working extremely hard this spring, coming into camp early and doing all the things that shows he wants to be playing in the majors. I am sure if someone wanted to check, there are players on other NL teams DHing in games and working on things in practice to keep working for the regular season.

        Opening Day is fun, but is really just one game and I would rather Olt and others do what is best to play as many games this season, versus trying to make Opening Day or much less spring training games the priority.

        • Tom U

          One of the best posts you have ever made Tony. I could not have said it any better, nor agree more.

          • cubtex

            I actually agree with Tony here and agree with what you said about his post :) There is no doubt Olt will get an opportunity this year to play 3rd at the major league level. If he needs a little time in AAA to get 100% and get some at bats under less pressure to start the season…Who cares? I think the positive is that he looks like he is seeing the ball much better and could regain a lot of that luster that he lost last year. He could be a very pleasant surprise.

          • Tony_H

            It’s not his bat that needs time in Iowa, it may be his throwing arm though, but I doubt it.

          • cubtex

            don’t get fooled by spring training. It would help him with both.

          • Tony_H

            I am sure he could spend all year there and it would help him. It is the balancing act between how much time do they need. Also, I am not against sending a guy back down for a few weeks if that is what they need. Many great players have gone back to the minors early in their career.

          • BigJonLilJon

            I think Olt has earned the starting 3B gig – as long as his shoulder is fine and he can make the throws. After all he has gone through and the hard work he has put in, I wonder that going down to AAA to start season might have a negative effect on him mentally

          • cubtex

            negative effect? He knows his struggles from last year more than anyone.

          • Tony_H

            And he knows why he struggled, we all do.

          • BigJonLilJon

            which is why he should be given the job. Because he’s earned it and the Cubs owe him the opportunity to let him continue showing that his hard work has paid off

          • cubtex

            I like Olt but to say he earned it because of his hard work? Why do the Cubs owe him? Why does he deserve to be the opening day 3rd baseman when he hasn’t had 1 inning at that position. If I was a player competing for that position….I would have a problem with that. I would say he didn’t earn it….he was handed it.

          • BigJonLilJon

            first off, he has a proven history to be an above avg 3B. If his shoulder proves to be fine and he plays 3B this week(as reported) then that wont be an issue. His problem was at the plate. He has shown that is no longer a problem.

          • cubtex

            So you are confident after getting 31 AB’s in spring training with 12 K’s and 1 walk that it is best for him and the team to start the season at Wrigley? Do me a favor Big John. Go look at his numbers in the minors last year and ask yourself again…..Is 31 spring training at bats enough of a test to throw him in with the big boys? I do not understand this rush?

          • BigJonLilJon

            Forget last years numbers.. he couldn’t see the ball. I’ve seen a lot of his at bats this spring. He has been working the count, showing good plate discipline, recognizing the pitches much better, especially lately. Every one works off the rust in the first half of ST. Stats in spring training do not tell the story.. the eye test does.

          • cubtex

            thank you for understanding about ST stats. 12 K’s in 32 PA’s tell a pretty good story though. Look at the story told on what he has done against the “good” pitchers. Masterson,Shields,Cain. That tells a pretty good story

          • BigJonLilJon

            Like I said.. I think he has passed the eye test. Conversely, Baez has not yet. I agree with him going down for a bit. He can work on his fielding(1 error charged to him last night and a second that almost went through his legs because he didn’t bend down and get the glove down), and work on his pitch selection. Has a lot of power but still swings at anything

          • Tony_H

            Kind of ironic, you not understanding the rush!

          • cubtex

            with players. I am getting more patient with my old age watching how Theo has been taking his sweet time and putting together his mlb roster. Will Olt help the team win this year? So…..what is the rush? Sit back and relax and smell the roses. Top 3 pick again.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Yes.. Olt will help the team win more games this year.

          • cubtex

            Really? Thank you Swami.As Tony points out WAR we will see what that is. a 1? or 2?

          • BigJonLilJon

            That’s why we play the games… to confirm what you thought is correct or not. Having a big bat in a lineup that struggles to score runs could be helpful. Having a big bat to provide protection for Rizzo could be helpful. That’s the theory… now they play the games to decide

          • cubtex

            That is Theo’s fault for trading Soriano and not keeping him to balance out the lineup. Square peg in a round hole. No true middle of the order bat on the entire 25 man roster.

          • BigJonLilJon

            We all know why Sori was traded. Besides … he was such a streaky hitter, I’m not convinced that Olt can’t do equally as good a job and do so more consistently.

          • cubtex

            Can you imagine how many K’s they would have if they batted Rizzo and Olt 3 and 4 next year? Wow!

          • BigJonLilJon

            Now your the Swami?? Is your glass always half empty? Maybe we should think about how many runs that might produce. And I think it will be better off

          • cubtex

            what does that have to do with anything? Does Olt have a lot of swing and miss in his game? Look at the scouting report. How would that change? Does Rizzo? You have to put players in positions that they can handle and succeed in. That is why the team sucked big time when Soriano was traded and they moved Schierholtz to a place he couldn’t handle.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            2nd year and rookie players. There will be some swing and miss. They’ll get it worked out and we’ll be better because we allowed them to.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Don’t all power hitters have a lot of swing and miss in there game? Soriano surely did. The bigger reason the team sucked may have to do with the starting pitching staff getting traded???

          • cubtex

            With the Cubs pitching staff they won’t win many games this year. Their starting staff is horrendous!

          • BigJonLilJon

            That may be true. But we thought that last year, and they surprised us(at least the starters). Baseball is a magical game of which any thing can happen. How many first to last place teams were expected to do so? None. Logic says the Cubs are going to suck again this year. I know it, you know it, we all know it. But there is still a season to be played to determine that.

          • bpot92

            I believe he would help the Cubs, especially in terms of knowing what they have and if they can push Bryant to the OF or Olt to the OF as Keith Law mentioned, but he wont be the missing piece. Playing from opening day or playing from may/june after some work in AAA may be best for all involved. He isnt going to make the Cubs a playoff contender this year ll by himself is what I believe Cubtex is saying. Correct me if I am wrong though @cubtex:disqus.

          • cubtex

            that is exactly what I am saying. thank you

          • Tony_H

            You know the reasons why it was important for Olt to win the 3B this spring, you just don’t agree with them on this player.

          • GaryLeeT

            Well, the Cubs can’t sign one so they are counting on a top pick for that TOR arm they so desperately need. They WILL tank the team to make it happen. Like you, I used to get frustrated with the Cubs not trying to put a competitive team on the field. Especially when there were plenty of short term Bourn, Crisp, Drew, Beltran, and Cruz type players that could have made that happen. But no amount of wishing is going to change what they are going to do, so I am in the final phase in the death of the 2014-15 Cubs. Acceptance.

          • bpot92

            I really hope they draft a top arm this year in Kolek Beede or someone else if they drop. Kolek has dominated HS so far this spring and is a big body at I believe 6ft 4 and over 200 pounds so durability might not be a concern.

          • GaryLeeT

            I am a much bigger fan of drafting high school players. It just seems like if a guy makes it to the bigs, the college players are about 2 years older than their HS counterparts.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Ray is always hurry up and win more now until Theo makes a move that will help that and them it’s the wrong move. We all know where Ray stands with Theo. No matter what Theo does it’s moronic. No matter the 2 rings and track record of success.

            Of course he’ll say that I think Theo can do no wrong ;). At least we know were we stand!

          • cubtex

            come up with new material Rider. What does this have to do with Theo? This team sucks. This team has zero chance to win. Why rush a player who clearly struggled last year? Why? Give the player the best chance to succeed. That is what it comes down to.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            There is improvement throughout the roster. Add in Kalish and Olt an i expect 10 more wins. Cud could e the most improved team in the MLb this season.

          • cubtex

            And on that note Rider….Enjoy the day! Most improved team in MLB this year? Don’t get off of that cloud!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            You enjoy your day too Ray! I believe it too! Don’t forget I said it.

          • bpot92

            I dont think Kalish and Olt themselves will provide a 10 win improvement. Add in a decent bullpen and .250/.330 and 25 hrs combined from 3b and maybe they get 5 or 6 wins. But I would take last years Sp over this years at this point and the offense isnt much better plus we will trade people again like Hammel and Veras and Villenueva if they have any value. I see maybe a 3-6 win improvement in my opinion realistically.

          • cubtex

            that starting rotation will be a huge problem all year.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I see 10 wins by adding Kalish, Olt and Ruggiano. Plus improved bullpen. Rizzo and Castro improved, plus Schierholtz more prepared for starting a full season. Castillo should also improve, and Barney couldn’t possibly be worse. Also a late season sure when Baez and youngsters come up.

            Mark me down for a 10 win improvement. That is what I predict. Starters will be okay, maybe not quite last seasons level, but bullpen will make up the difference.

          • bpot92

            I’d gladly be proven wrong by this team if it meant improvement by KEY players such as Rizzo, Shark, and Castro

          • BigJonLilJon

            By your logic… the team sucks. Send them all down to AAA!!!

          • cubtex

            Maybe I missed Mike Olt’s resume of success in the majors. Could you forward that to me.

          • Tony_H

            Yet you want Baez to start at 2B right now. That is rushing a player! Plus can you show us Baez’s resume of success in the majors.

          • cubtex

            I am answering his 100% undeniable prediction that the Cubs will win more games with Olt at 3rd. What does that have to do with Baez?

          • Tony_H

            I agree with him.

            Olt > Valbuena enough said

            No different than

            Baez > Barney

            The Cubs would win more games with Baez at 2B over Barney. The difference in the 2 is experience and age and defense. Many teams will take a defensive player with little bat over a bad glove and better bat. Olt is a better than avg glove with a power bat.

            One is 25 with 1469 PA’s over 4 seasons and spent 2 or 3 years in college playing baseball and defense is an asset and is major league ready.

            One is 21 with 916 PA’s over 2 season is an overly aggressive hitter with defense as something he needs to work on more.

          • cubtex

            after watching Baez more this spring I don’t disagree with that. Like many on here with the Olt love…they want to see new players. I do too. Tired of the Valbuenas,Barneys,Schierholtz,
            Sweeney…but Olt is not ready and it is forced to hand him the job

          • cubtex

            since you brought up Baez. Why do you want Olt to start the season so badly with the Cubs but you want Baez to start at AAA? Baez had better success than Olt did in AA. Baez is better than any option they have at 2nd. This shouldn’t be about age? Some players are ready before others. Look what Castro did in the majors at his age? Made 2 all star games in his first 3 years with 200 hits in a season. Olt has never had success in AAA. No boxes to check off there. Just age. One player is 25 and the other is 21 so that means he should be in the majors. lol

          • Tony_H

            See my other reply, but Baez has work on his over agreessive approach at the plate (it has been obvious in ST in the AB’s I have seen that didn’t end in a hit) and his defense.

          • cubtex

            and you are 100% sold on Olt with his 12 K’s in 32 PA. Got you

          • Tony_H

            Never said that. I don’t believe in 100% or 0% like you do. I believe most everything falls somewhere in the middle.

          • cubtex

            don’t know where you would get that. 100% or 0%. But since you don’t like to put those parameters on players…What leads you to put a higher % on Olt than Baez? What track record has he shown to warrant that? Can’t be this ST with his 32 PA or his stellar defense at 3rd.

          • Tony_H

            I have already explained this many times. Theo and Jed will be making the decision soon and you will be well prepared to say it is wrong and point it out every time he strikes out.

          • cubtex

            In fact comparing Baez to Olt this spring.

            Baez 37 AB’s 4 HR’s 11 K’s with a .297 avg

            Olt 32 AB’s 4 HR’s with 12 K’s.

            I have said this as many times as people have posted that grantland link

            Be careful for what you wish for

          • bpot92

            One of the things too is hasnt Olt’s service clock been started with the Rangers, and he is 25 so we need to figure out if he can play or not, but I believe both would be better served to go to AAA for a while with Olt coming up first.

          • Tony_H

            His service time is at 0.063 or not even half a season. His clock is not an issue.

          • bpot92

            So even if he started the whole year he wouldnt reach super 2 correct?

          • Tony_H

            If he spent all year this year and next year he would likely be Super 2 after 2015 season. We would still have control over him for 4 more seasons.

          • bpot92

            Ok thanks for the information!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Theo knows how to help players succeed. Whatever he does is usually best.

          • cubtex

            this is not about Theo. Get off of it. What happened to Castro and Rizzo last year? Did changing Castro’s approach help the player. No!!! He said…never mind. Go back to your old approach.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            One move! The guy is a proven front office genius. It is an undeniable fact.

          • cubtex

            such a genius that he fired his hand picked manager after 2 seasons because he couldn’t develop the young kids. such a genius that they have lost more games in 2 years in Cubs history. such a genius that he signed EJax for a 4 year 52 mil contract and paid him 19 mil last year for losing 18 games. He hasn’t done anything genius yet here in Chicago. A 5 year or more rebuild is not genius.

          • cubtex

            as I have repeatedly said…I like Olt but for some reason you think that I have this agenda for him to fail? Complete opposite. As I said…be careful for what you wish for!

          • cubtex

            as it is you are wanting to rush a player :)

          • BigJonLilJon

            Not rushing Olt…. allowing him to earn the opportunity he has won during spring training. There is no clock to worry about him…. let play and continue to show he’s deserved of the it

          • Tony_H

            He has 1469 PA’s in the minors. No one is rushing him.

          • cubtex

            so do you know of any teams who have started a player in the majors after having as poor a season in the minors the previous year as Olt has? 1469 PA in minors coming off a sub .200 BA and many many many K’s. Don’t know if I can think of anyone in history who was handed a job after 31 PA in spring training coming off of that kind of year. If that is not forced or rushed…I don’t know what is.

          • Tony_H

            I am sure I can find someone with those exact number…..

            He has not been handed a job, he has had to earn it. I can’t help the number of AB’s but plenty of MLB jobs get determined in ST (but not just on their ST numbers).

            What I would like you to find. Since this has been one of your causes this off-season to prove that Olt needs to go to AAA to start the year. I can’t remember reading any articles that say that he HAS to go to AAA to start the year based on all of your reasons you keep stating over and over and over again. Can you find me someone who is saying that Olt HAS to go to Iowa because of his lost year last year due to injury?

          • cubtex

            Here is a great example. Aaron Hicks of the Twins. Never played in AAA but was turning 24. Nobody blocking him in CF. They gave him the starting CF job instead of giving him AAA at bats. And what happened???

            The Twins need not look beyond last year’s Aaron Hicks experiment to
            see what can happen when a player gets rushed into a major league job
            for which he’s clearly not ready. Hicks put up good numbers last spring,
            and Twins scouts saw enough to recommend him for the starting
            center-field job. Then he hit a buck-ninety-two in 81 games.

            And then he goes to AAA and hits .222 last year.

          • Tony_H

            Give it up dude!

            Many, many players have SKIPPED AAA and been successful and failed. There are examples of anything you want to find, if you actually want to waste your time looking.

          • cubtex

            sorry if my facts get in the way. Didn’t have to dig too far. One year. But because it is a decision that would go against what the FO is allowing….god forbid you go against them and actually have an actual thought on something.

          • Tony_H

            Dont’ worry those precious facts of finding a player who skipped AAA and failed….tough find. It happens. Prospects fail all the time, stall out, never make enough contact. Not every prospect makes it. You choose to point it out and be on the side of talking about the failure and for that you will be right far more than you are wrong. Enjoy the glory of predicting failure in a game where failing 70% of the time can put you in the HOF.

          • cubtex

            am I wanting failure for this player? there is a huge difference. you are right on that point(not too often but blind squirrel have success a time or 2) about prospects fail all the time. that is why I hate to see them not get the best opportunity to succeed. Twins did it with Hicks. Cubs will do it with Olt if he starts the season with the Cubs. This is not a hard prediction. Don’t worry…I won’t gloat or say I told you so. I have seen it too often firsthand. I am done arguing about what will happen. We will all see his struggles in April at Wrigley unfortunately because they are forcing it and not letting it happen.

          • Tony_H

            LOL! He may very well struggle in April in Wrigley…but what you say is struggling and what others would say are probably two different things. And if he does, he can still go to Iowa for awhile. Nothing wrong with that.

            And like with Hicks, how do you know he wouldn’t have failed just the same if he had spent a whole year or even two years at AAA. He may just not be good enough and was going to fail.

          • cubtex

            you are right again. 2 in a row. what I think is struggle and you are 2 totally different things. I believe 3 hits out of 10 is good. You believe 2 is good if you can walk. Saber guys look to justify mediocrity in the game. They look to say a guy is valuable even though they are a below average hitter. I would say if Olt strikes out 1 out of 3 at bats hitting .220 that is a struggle….but I am sure you will say he is doing other things to justify him starting. lol

          • Tony_H

            I can’t help your ignorance of understanding stats.

          • cubtex

            Ignorant? I just don’t accept mediocrity and sugarcoat it. Don’t worry Billy…you struck out 3 times today but you drew a key walk. Good job. Maybe that is why my kids do well in school and sports. Hmmm. If you demand better results you might get better results. What a concept!

          • Tony_H

            Sounds pretty ignorant to me, if especially since you are calling it a key walk, that sounds like he helped the team win the game by extending an inning.

          • cubtex

            yes dear. forget about those 3 K’s. My kids would never say they helped the team with a key walk after K ing 3 times and I am thankful they expect more out of themselves! I never thought I would see the day in baseball where some would say a .230 hitter actually had a “good” year. Did the baseball get smaller? Do the bats these days have a hole in the middle of the sweet spot? Did they add an additional fielder? Castro hit .300 but it wasn’t good enough because he didn’t walk enough. Huh? Rizzo hit .230 and was terrible with RISP but his 80 RBI was good. Huh?

          • Tony_H

            You think you are so much better than everyone else, we all know that.

            I would hope you would know that if someone K’s 3 times that they can still help their team in their 4th AB. No one would be happy about the 3 K’s, but if the team wins, only the selfish would dwell on the 3 K’s. Also, not saying they wouldn’t work to improve, but winning the game should come before worry about AB’s that ended without getting on base.

          • triple

            Bwahahahahahahaha!!!

            That is some funny shit. So one of your kids could go 0-3 w/ 3 K’s, but earn a walk and score a game winning run, and they would be upset because they would put their poor stats ahead of the teams success….good one! You are great at concentrating on the negative, i just couldn’t resist commenting.

          • cubtex

            I would expect nothing different from a guy with Clark the Cub as his avatar! Great response!

          • cubtex

            Believe it or not….every one of my kids would get upset if they got a C as a final grade too even if they got all A;s on their other subjects. Imagine that! Oh the horror!

          • Tony_H

            Rushed is bringing up a pitcher with only 138 innings in the minors straight from high A.

            Rushed is having a pitcher go 5 innings in rookie ball, 8 Innings in High A, then 8 innings in AA, then sending him to AAA at age 21 for 85 innings to get a total of 106 innings before putting them in the middle of pennant race.

            Every player is different and comparing players to past players development paths is just not relevant.

          • Tony_H

            I agree he has won the job, just waiting on his arm, but not sure it would be negative for him to go down.

          • JasonPen

            He’s a natural in the field, I think as long as he can throw, he’ll make the team. How many plays actually go to 3B anyway? Plus didn’t Villanueva get sent to AAA? They aren’t going to send Olt down to split time.

          • cubtex

            How many plays go to 3rd? Seriously? You are justifying Olt winning the job by downgrading the position?

          • JasonPen

            My point was that from all accounts Olt is a great fielder. He can adjust during the first few games. As long as his arm allows him to throw he’ll be fine. He has played 1B during spring, so we know he can field grounders and can catch.

          • Tony_H

            In other words, he will only have a few throws a game, not that much abuse on his arm. I actually believe if it was regular season, he would be playing 3B right now.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            He’s known as a great defensive 3rd baseman. His defense won’t be near the reason he doesn’t make the team or see the field.

          • cubtex

            Be careful for what you wish for is all I am saying. I hope I am 100% wrong and I won’t tell everyone I told you so….but he should start in AAA.

          • cubtex

            I was watching a little of the telecast last night with the Rangers announcers. They were saying how Profar hit .370 with 4 bombs in spring training last year and started out 1 for 31 in the majors.

          • Tony_H

            That happens even to vets. Sandberg was 0 for 20 something when he started with the Cubs. ST stats mean nothing. How they go about their business, and their approach at the plate is what matters.

            I don’t expect Olt to hit 300 (more like 230-260) but power is what he brings and I would expect around 25 HR’s if he is the starter at 3B this year, playing well above average D.

          • cubtex

            I agree that Olt is capable of hitting 25 HR’s. I just don’t see what is this urgency for him to start the season with the north side? Explain that to me? What am I missing? I don’t want to see Valbuena at 3rd for 1 inning either but who cares if Olt starts the season in Iowa for a month or so.

          • Tony_H

            If he is ready (look like it) and his healthy (still waiting on his arm) then why send him to Iowa when he is the best option? There is no service time to worry about with Olt.

            We have beat this topic up so much, that we both know why we each have our opinions. I have never stated he has to be the starter at 3B, I have said he will have every opportunity to show he should be the starter at 3B. Once he can make the throws without soreness, he has won the job, hands down.

          • cubtex

            Yes we have beat up this topic but I think fans are worried that if he isn’t starting on opening day that he won’t ever be. Believe me. He will get a shot. There is no rush.

          • Richard Hood

            You forgot the 10 to 14% walk rate with that .230 to .260 and above average D. That could be a .260/.340/.450 player. Dude that is an ALLSTAR!

      • paulcatanese

        I understand the support you have for Olt, however, those three were basically at the end of their career DH’s. So that is not a fair comparison, they spent most of their time as regular full time players,
        (with the exception of Edgar Martinez).
        If Olt does not make the roster, it will not be because he wasn’t given the chance,
        as I believe the Cubs have bent over backwards to give him that opportunity, more so than many in the past.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          Throwing those names in was hyperbole. It was the only appropriate response to that silly comment. Olt will probably play 3rd tonight and he will Olt it on from her. He’s always played 3rd and he was suffering some soreness. Big deal. He’s hitting and he will be in the field soon. It’s not my support for Olt. At this point he deserves all of our aupport as it appears we will be a better team and drive in more runs with him in the lineup.

          I could call that poster name or call his comment names o which I’ll do neither. I’ll jut leave it at silly and uninformed.

  • cubtex

    Good description of Rizzo by Keith Law.

  • cubtex

    Diamondbacks shopping Didi Gregorious for pitching. I wonder if there is any chance a 3 way deal can be worked out with Shark going to Arizona, Didi and others going to another team and we get starting pitching prospects from the 3rd team.

    • Tony_H

      I doubt it. We have seen reports the Cubs are shopping Samardzija as well. I am sure teams are coming to the Diamondbacks with offers to help them in this situation, but I don’t see them trading Gregorious for a short term need, when they have Delgado to start the year and Archie Bradley really close to being ready.

      • daverj

        I would think the DBacks would be willing to move Gregorious for Shark given that they have all but handed the SS position to Owings. I’m not sure, however, that there is a third team interested in Gregorious that would deal the young pitching the Cubs want for Shark.

        • Tony_H

          You just don’t trade your young SS when another is there. The Cubs are a perfect example of how they are going to try and get both Baez and Castro on the field together. AZ has Aaron HIll at 2B, not a long term solution.

          • daverj

            Given Towers’ trading history he might very well trade his young shortstop if he has a chance to acquire a starting pitcher with #2 upside who he’s been interested in for at least a year.

          • cubtex

            of course he would. He has a trade chip. Owings won the job. He could use Gregorious to fill a hole.

          • Tony_H

            Or play 2B later this year if Aaron Hill starts to decline. Prospets fail and vets decline. Part of baseball.

          • Tony_H

            The Cubs won’t trade Samardzija for Gregorious and 3 way deals are tough anytime, but end of ST sounds like an especially tough time to try and pull it off.

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    I have 2, of 20, spots left in my Yahoo fantasy baseball league drafting online tonight at 7 p.m. Chicago time if anyone’s interested.

    • raymondrobertkoenig

      1 spot left.

      • raymondrobertkoenig

        We’re full.

  • cubtex

    Tigers executive Scott Reid is scouting Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz and infielder Darwin Barney, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports. The Cubs would be looking for pitching in return. The Tigers have lost outfielder Andy Dirks and shortstop Jose Iglesias to serious injuries. Dirks was slated to form the left-handed side of a left-field platoon with Rajai Davis.
    The left-handed Scherholtz would seem to fit the bill as his
    replacement, even though he has mostly played right field in recent
    years.

    Please make my day. I don’t even care what you get back.

    • TheWrongGuy

      “Please make my day. I don’t even care what you get back.”
      Amen to that.

    • Tony_H

      Hasn’t this been going on for awhile?

  • Tony_H

    Bruce Levine ‏@MLBBruceLevine 14m
    Mike Olt to play first game at third base tomorrow .

  • Bryan

    Yet another day of “great” CCO commentary. You know, in less than 2 weeks we’ll know where Olt lands….simple as that. Until then, just let the games play out.

    • Tony_H

      Then you would have nothing to read :)