3/14 Quick hits

Infielder Corey Koskie worked out with Cubs strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss and athletic trainer Mark O’Neal early Saturday. Once cleared, Koskie will get a look at third base.

In other news:

  • Ryan Dempster threw a simulated game early Saturday. He’s on schedule to be the Cubs’ No. 2 starter, following Carlos Zambrano.
  • Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg, both competing for the closer’s job, will both pitch on Saturday. Lou Piniella cautioned not to read anything into who goes first.
  • Rich Harden will start Sunday in Tucson, and was expected to go at least three innings.
  • Piniella likes Aaron Heilman in the role of seventh inning set-up pitcher. Heilman was to go three innings on Saturday. He’s throwing on three days rest.

— Carrie Muskat


could you shed some light on what exactly a simulated game entails? I mean, does he throw a bunch of pitches, then walk to a nearby dugout, slam some coffee and Dr. Peppers, then return to the mound, throw more pitches, go back to the dugout for more Dr. Pepper and watch Soriano flail at low and away dueces, back for more pitches…go into the cage and swing REALLY hard at a few fastballs from Chummers Rothschild? Or is it more like strat-o-matic baseball, and they do the whole thing with cards. Man, I wish I could get cards for the current NL so I could simulate this season on good ol’ strat-o-matic.

Simulated games can be intense. In this case, Dempster got tossed for arguing with a simulated umpire. The simulated fans got pissed and started throwing simulated stuff on the field. The simulated announcer made a simulated announcement. There was even a simulated brawl and both simulated benches emptied. After the game, everyone had a simulated beer.

In a simulated trade, the Cubs got Rich Hill back.

Bestest you nitwit. You forgot the bestest part…the simulated baseball annie and the simulated happy ending. Come on Rich.

They simulated Dempster walking the bases loaded and then giving up a grand slam on a 1-2 pitch. Rich Hill earned a simulated Cy Young last year in extended spring training.

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