Mike Olt is Dealing with a Sore Shoulder and Other Cubs Spring Training News

According to multiple reports Friday, Mike Olt has been “slowed this spring because of tenderness in his right shoulder.” Olt has not played third yet but has gotten at bats as the team’s designated hitter and will again on Saturday, weather permitting.

CubsMesaLogo-pubRick Renteria said Olt is “throwing fine and he’s been working at all of the positions getting himself ready.” Olt says that he is seeing the ball just fine and put together a long at bat in Thursday’s opener that ended with a called third strike on a very close pitch.

Patrick Mooney reported Olt is the “X-factor in a third base platoon that now involves Donnie Murphy and Luis Valbuena.”

Renteria said Olt is “coming along.” The Cubs plan on playing Mike Olt as much as they can at third base.

The Kids

For the majority of two innings Friday, there was a glimpse of the Cubs future on the field at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Arismendy Alcantara, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora, Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters lined up on defense. And while the positions and the roles might change before the players make it to Wrigley Field, there were prospects manning every defensive position.

Albert Almora and Kris Bryant provided two of the highlights on offense. Bryant made two plays at third seamlessly with strong throws to first and Jorge Soler showed off his strong arm in right field. And Baez was solid at short. Plus, a slimmed down Dan Vogelbach even made an appearance in a pinch-hitting role.

Not all of the players are going to make it to the majors, that is a given. But for one afternoon at the end of a poorly played exhibition game, seeing all of those players on the field at the same time pointed to better days ahead for the big league club.

News, Notes and Rumors

Justin Klugh of Philly.com reported the Braves could supplement their rotation with Jeff Samardzija.

Reports continue to indicate Jake Arrieta is throwing off of flat ground and “is making progress.” Arrieta has yet to throw off a mound. As every day passes it is looking less and less likely that Arrieta will begin the season on the active roster.

Kris Bryant says he’s been blessed with power according to Comcast SportsNet.

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, Darwin Barney knows he has something to prove.

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  • Eugene Debs

    Tough break for Olt. I’d really like to see him at 3B.

    Seriously, another season of Valbuena and Murphy playing the lefty/righty game stinks of last place.

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    I wonder if the shoulder tenderness is related somehow to his earlier eye problems.

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

      That’s a low blow. Dude got hit in the head and suffered a season of concussion symptoms. And he played baseball through the whole time. You and I would have been curled up in dark rooms if we had been in those curcumstancez.

      • paulcatanese

        Got to answer, Tony is right, probably just being cautious with him.
        On the other hand, where you answered
        on the post above. It’s entirely possible that an eye problem could throw his motion off.
        In compensating he could throw his muscle coordination off.
        Remember Dizzy Dean, an injured toe led to a sore arm and an eventual end o a career. I would give that statement the benefit of the doubt:)

  • BigJonLilJon

    If he’s throwing and shoulder is just “tender”, sounds like he’d play if it was regular season. Sounds like they’re just being careful. He’ll be fine and be manning the hot corner opening day!!

    • Tony_H

      Sounds about right.

    • mutantbeast

      Likely more shoulder fatigue. Olt hasnt had many reps yet.

      • SuzyS

        mutant, what is shoulder fatigue??
        I just read the Muskat link and she said he felt it in the off season. I’ve never experienced “shoulder fatigue”…and have absolutely no clue what it might be…other than the regular more serious stuff that we elders might go through.

        • Richard Hood

          Basically fatigue in a joint is from strengthening the muscles around it. The joint itself gets a little inflamed and has to catch up so you do flexibility exercises and lay off the heavy lifting until it feels right. (I know that is VERY BASIC but it is the easiest way for the masses to understand the term)

          • SuzyS

            Thanks…and that’s OK…I fit into “the masses” category!!!:-)

        • mutantbeast

          Suzy, shoullder fatigue is basically he hasnt played in a while and his muscles have to become accustomed to everyday use. Nothing more, nothimg less. Id be far more concerned if he had a strain or a bone issue.

  • cubtex

    Wainwright: Game too slow? Open strike zone http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id
    I was never a pitcher but I 100% agree with him. The zone has gotten smaller and smaller and you got guys like Valbuena hanging around the game because he can’t hit but takes several close pitches looking for a walk. This will no doubt speed up the game forcing guys to swing the bat as well as get some of these stiffs like Valbuena out of the league. Sign me up!/10531612/adam-wainwright-st-louis-cardinals-says-opening-strike-zone-speed-baseball-games

    • BigJonLilJon

      How about they just start calling the proper strike zone as it was originally set up and is described in rule book… knees to chest

      • cubtex

        agreed. that is what it should be and that is what Wainwright is saying.

      • paulcatanese

        Instead of mid-thigh to belt, agree 100%

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

        Amen to that! The pitch at the letters was a strike since my first day of pitching machine. Guess the strike zone shrinks the higher up you make it.

  • cubtex

    Too bad for the Twins.

    Miguel Sano needs Tommy John surgery. http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/blogs/248012161.html

    • Richard Hood

      Our brains are in the same place Tex. I came on here just to talk about Sano and the fickle nature of prospects. You already started the conversation.

      • Tony_H

        This has nothing to do with the fickle nature of prospects, this can happen to any player.

        • Richard Hood

          What I meant was how much of a risk it is to go all in on kids that are not in the majors yet. The risk is huge but Team Theo seems to still be placing bets on should be’s, could be’s and maybe eventually’s.

          The Cubs should have been hedging their bets from day one with trades and free agent signings instead of preaching patience and how the future is the farm.

          • cubtex

            Of course. To think that Bryant Baez Almora and Soler will all be starting in 2016 opening day is not realistic. There could be an injury that sets one of them back. One could struggle and need more seasoning. One could not make it. I think Baez and Bryant have a very good chance to be starting on opening day next year but the jury is still out on anyone else.

          • Tony_H

            They will use FA and vets in trades to fill as needed around the kids. But what you are describing is a way to get stuck in the middle where you are never good enough to contend, but never bad enough to get the top picks in the draft.

          • cubtex

            How many top picks in a row will we have now after this year?

          • Tony_H

            Pretty impressive!

            1st round picks
            2011 – Javier Baez
            2012 – Albert Almora, Pierce Johnson, Paul Blackburn
            2013 – Kris Bryant
            2014 – ???Tyler Beede anyone

          • cubtex

            and 2015. Enough is enough. 5 years of consecutive top 10 picks. Any GM could put together a nice minor league with that. Watching the Cubs D’Backs game. Great catch by Szcur in the 7th.

          • Tony_H

            Yet only the Cubs have moved so fast to the top of the prospect rankings. Other teams that have been losing are not 2nd.

            Watched most of it live yesterday. I am always amazed at how other teams have so many more games televised than the Cubs.

          • cubtex

            yes but you also have to factor in they are trading mlb assets for (not major league players)….but prospects. Huge difference

          • Tony_H

            So can other teams that are losing.

          • cubtex

            most other teams aren’t tanking. they can’t afford to do that and don’t want to screw the fanbase

          • Tony_H

            So they are just so bad at what they do, they are trying to win and can’t?

            Maybe Theo is a lot better than you think!

          • cubtex

            they don’t have the money. Believe me…Theo is not a miracle worker. This plan is child’s play. How many big market teams would let the team suck for 4 years just to get draft picks and rebuild on the cheap? Doesn’t happen. Hendry or any other GM could do the exact same thing if the owner gave them the thumbs up to tank.

          • Tony_H

            LOL! You keep beating that drum. We all know it is because you don’t like Theo.

            Child’s play! Hilarious

          • cubtex

            we won’t get on all day but seriously. what is difficult Tony? How is what he is doing is difficult? Look at the product on the field. They will lose 90 games plus this year again. I know you are the ultimate PR guy(as Rip call you) but this is a paint by numbers plan.

          • Tony_H

            Every plan is simple in concept. It is the details of every move and every player development plan that makes the difference in why one team’s plan will succeed and another team’s plan will fail. You will never give Theo any credit and gave him none for what he did in Boston. We are never going to agree, so go outside in your great weather and go for a run, while we are about to get more snow.

          • cubtex

            that is the plan. going to go for a run a little later today. 82 degrees today. Sorry to rub it in :)))

          • Swish23

            in Boston Theo had 175M payroll; a mentor in Lucchino, a 93 win team handed to him, and 2 steriod boys in Ramirez and Ortiz. and an ownership who could afford a MLB team and put expectations on him.
            which of those does he have in Chicago? (hint: none)
            what is Theo’s Chicago record to date? 197 losses; headed for another 95 plus. yeah, it’s only been 106 yrs; we got all the time in the world.
            (and they can’t wait thinking players will just show up when they are ready; you sign then when the players are ready; like Tanaka, Davrish, Puig, Ryu, Cespedes, Abreu (and kept Cashner; cuz’ pitching is 80% of the game, Fister, Fowler, A Sanchez, re-sign Garza, not trade Smardz, etc, etc…..all guys 30 and under).
            this is an expansion build.
            3 in tix prices, 5th in revenues, 26th in payroll,
            bad………all very bad.

          • paulcatanese

            Why? Its because MLB (in the spring) is all about Florida that has spring training VS Arizona.
            Has been that way for a long time.
            Even during the regular season its all about the Yankees and the Red Sox, or East Coast teams. Sickening to say the least.
            Plus no one in the real world recognizes the Cubs and the things they have accomplished
            except Cub fans, and most do not live on the East Coast.

          • Tony_H

            Um, Paul, the Cubs games that are televised by other teams all play in Arizona.

            MLB Network also shows games from both Florida and Arizona pretty even from what I see.

          • paulcatanese

            You must have a different TV channel selector than I have.
            Will agree to one thing though, the Cubs are rarely on out on the West Coast other than WGN or Comcast for whatever the reason.

          • Tony_H

            Did you watch the game yesterday? It was on the Angels channel (West Coast) and I watched it on MLB.TV.

          • paulcatanese

            No, I didn’t. Always a problem when it’s in SF or Oakland territory.
            During the season I may get the Dodgers and who they are playing.
            MLB.TV. has been a connection problem here in the mountains.
            Always look forward when the Cubs play the Giants get all the games , even re-tapes of the games, same with Oakland. But not a fan of either team.

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

            Most of out prospects haven’t come through the draft. The very top guys yes, but beyond that it’s been trades and signings.

          • Richard Hood

            What I described is a way to build a system AND be at least watchable at the major league level. We do not have to be horrible to rebuild. We can retool very quickly with some of the pieces that have been moved in the last couple years.

            Team Theo came in with a mindset that every one here was garbage and went to cutting. I am not saying that we did not to get a lot younger just that some of the pieces they have moved without knowing what they have had really cut us to the bone.

            The Cubs have had some nice finds in the last couple years but who would have rather had Valbuena or Flahtery? DJ LeMahieu or Stewart?

            The Cupboard was not as bare as these guys believed and traded or let walk a lot of young talent. Would you rather have the bench warming FA’s they signed the last few years or the young guys that should have been filling that role here?

            I do understand the argument that you have to be the worst to get a high draft pick. I mean that is what the Pirates and Nats did and it only took them 20 years.

            All I am saying is that between the be horrible to be good mindset and the idea that there was nothing here, Theo set himself back 5 years before he ever started and has been playing catch up ever since.

          • Tony_H

            Theo has been here just over 2 years and you say he set the Cubs back 5 years? I would hate to know your estimate of how far back JH set the Cubs back?

            You also talked in your last post about having vets around, yet here are talking about kids like Flaherty, Lemahieu and I am assuming you just forgot to mention Colvin and Gonzalez as other future HOF’s Theo let go to make room for Valbuena. What I don’t get is Valbuena is still only 28 and people act like he is mid-30’s.

            Theo did not come in with the attitude that everyone was garbage and cut them all. He took the advice of the guys that were already here to move out Lemahieu, Flaherty, Gonzalez and Colvin. And so far none of these 4 are great losses.

            And yes you describe a way to make the major league team more watchable. That was not the goal, everyone knows it, but people still want to act like they could have made the team at least competitive while rebuilding the farm system. Yes they could have, but it would have made the rebuild take about 5 years longer, not having top picks and the new CBA restricting over spending on draft picks.

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

            They have been. We have more prospects with potential than ever. That’s the whole plan with Theo. Quantity with some quality. We have position depth and don’t have to count on any one or two prospects.

    • Chris K.

      Too bad for me! I wanted to draft him in fantasy baseball.

    • Tony_H

      That is terrible news for the Twins, Sano and baseball. He will back, but likely delayed his by 1 1/2 to 2 years. He’s only 20.

  • cubtex

    Wronguy- Doesn’t look like Hoffman is slipping at all :)))

    East Carolina’s Jeff Hoffman, a strong consideration for the #whitesox and #cubs, struck out 14 in 8 IP Friday vs. Western Kentucky.

    • TheWrongGuy

      Yes i see this.

  • cubtex

    I haven’t got a chance to watch any Cubs games live. I taped and watched a little of the 1st game. I watched Olt’s 1st 2 AB’s and I remain with my statement that this guy should not even be considered to start at the mlb level. For those who taped it….Look at Olt’s 1st AB. He swung at the 1st pitch and popped it straight up. Not a big deal…but look how he followed the pitch. He didn’t see it or follow it. He had no clue where the ball went off his bat. It was like a little league kid hitting the ball and running not knowing if he fouled the ball in the stands or where it went. This guy needs to start in the minors and see if he can salvage his once promising career.

    • cubtex

      And I understand the need to be optimistic in spring….but the 2nd AB that was mentioned about putting together a long at bat. He NEVER swung the bat. Took 6 straight pitches and was called out on strikes. Didn’t foul off a pitch or swing at anything.

  • cubtex

    The long winter hasn’t made listening to Jim Deshaies any more tolerable.

    • TheWrongGuy

      I don’t mind Jim Deshaies as much much as I hate listening to the useless information from Len Casper. Replace Len Casper with Mick Gillispie, Rick Suttcliffe or Pat Hughs.

  • cubtex

    For those that are curious and wanted the Cubs to go all in on Tanaka. He is making his spring training debut at 12N CDT on MLB TV.

    • paulcatanese

      I just wonder how much the dollars equate per innings pitched. His one inning that I watched, well, just can’t say, looked so, well, he looked, rich.