2/17 Injury bug: Guzman, Gray sidelined
Cubs pitchers and catchers have their first workout on Thursday at Fitch Park but already have two players who will miss practice. Angel Guzman injured a knee during a workout in Venezuela and had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus two weeks ago. The procedure was done in Arizona. He was expected to be ready by Opening Day. Jeff Gray, whom the Cubs acquired from Oakland, has a moderate groin strain, injured during drills in Mesa. The right-hander will take it easy over the first few weeks of camp.
The only other pitcher who won’t be able to throw on Thursday is starter Ted Lilly, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in early November. Lilly could be ready by mid April, but in the meantime, the Cubs will be auditioning starter candidates to sub for the lefty as well as fill the fifth spot. The contenders include Carlos Silva, Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall and Tom Gorzelanny.
“We’ve got enough people to look at,” Lou Piniella said Wednesday.
The Cubs are still in the market for a veteran right-handed reliever to help set-up closer Carlos Marmol, and could add someone via trade.
Another pitcher who reported to work on Wednesday was Greg Maddux, who has been added as a special assistant to GM Jim Hendry.
“We’ll have Greg do a lot of everything,” Hendry said of the four-time Cy Young winner, who won his first with the Cubs in 1992.
Maddux will work with pitching coach Larry Rothschild and Minor League pitching coordinator Mark Riggins as well as go to games with Hendry and assistant general manager Randy Bush to learn how to evaluate players.
“We’ll try to give him a little bit of everything in the first year,” Hendry said. “We’d be foolish to think he couldn’t help the players on the field.”
“All the young pitching talent we have, he’ll be invaluable,” Piniella said.
— Carrie Muskat