Think the Cubs are eager to get going? Neal Cotts, Jeff Samardzija, Chad Gaudin, Angel Guzman, Geovany Soto, Koyie Hill, Kevin Hart, Jason Dubois, Randy Wells, Jake Fox, Rocky Roquet and others were among the early birds working out at Fitch Park on Thursday. Also throwing off a mound was right-handed pitcher Ken Kadokura, a 13-year veteran of the Nippon Professional League who signed a Minor League contract with the Cubs. Even manager Lou Piniella stopped by. Pitchers and catchers officially report Friday, and the first workout will be Saturday.
One bit of news — Guzman will not compete for the Venezuelan team in the World Baseball Classic. The right-hander wants to get ready for the regular season.
It was sunny but cool in Mesa, which was a welcome relief for guys like Cotts and Samardzija, who spent the offseason in the Chicago area. Anyone who endured this past winter knows how tough it was.
– Carrie Muskat