3/11 Cubs notebook

Ted Lilly may face hitters in a live BP session on Sunday, which will be his next day to throw. Lilly is coming back from arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder. He threw 35 pitches on Wednesday.

“No problems,” Lilly said. “I’ve thrown a few changeups, no curveballs. In the past, I haven’t thrown a whole lot of breaking stuff in Spring Training. That’s not something you want to overdo at this point.”

* Alan Trammell will manage the Cubs in Las Vegas. Lou Piniella is staying back with the other half of the team in Arizona for games Friday against Milwaukee and Saturday against Cincinnati. Jeff Samardzija will face the Brewers while Tom Gorzelanny will start Friday in Vegas against the White Sox. Ryan Dempster makes his second start Saturday in Vegas while Sean Marshall faces the Reds. Piniella said he hopes the team can make some definite plans with the pitching by March 21-22.

* If Starlin Castro is going to open in the Minors, will he stay long in the big league camp? Piniella said that decision is up to Jim Hendry.

* Andres Blanco (sprained knee) is another week or so away from resuming baseball activities.

“Depending on what happens with Blanco will have a bearing on what we do with our bench,” Piniella said. “We have choices with our bench. Do we focus on defense? Do we focus on more offense? With the [Xavier] Nady situation, do we carry a couple extra outfielders because he can’t play outfield?”

Nady will be able to play outfield on Opening Day but is not expected to be able to throw at full speed until June 1. There’s been no talk about having Nady open the year on the disabled list.

“My understanding from talking to the trainer and our medical people is he can play a couple days a week early in the season and hopefully by the first of June, if need be, we can put him out there on a more consistent basis than that,” Piniella said. “We’ll have to wait and see. I don’t see the DL scenario at all. We haven’t even discussed that.”

* The Cubs do need five starters when they open the season. Sometimes with off days, a team can get by with four. The way it’s projected, the Cubs’ fifth starter would make four starts in April.

“I asked [Larry Rothchild] if we could get by with 11 pitchers in the month of April,” Piniella said. “I haven’t heard a positive response on that one yet.”

— Carrie Muskat


Can anybody explain Hendry’s reasoning in siging Nady? You’ve got the manager publicly stating Nady can’t play the outfield early on which will alter his bench and quite possibley create a handicap to start the year and you’ve got the “medical” staff stating Nady can only play a couple days per week and not throw at full strength until June 1st. This move has Hendry’s brilliant trademark written all over it. Nothing like Nady and Millar taking up roster spots.

Joey, you annoy me!

That is awesome brewha1703@yahoo.com, thanks for the compliment and the EXCELLENT comment regarding…uh…me, I guess.

Just don’t get why everything from you has got to be negative. If the Cubs really are your team, just try supporting them. Leave the rest to the guys in charge, it’ll work out.

Go Soriano! Go Nady! Go Millar! Go Fukodome! GO JIM HENDRY! Please.

Joey, I have also admittedly become annoyed with your comments as well. We ALL know how you feel, now can you let it go at least for a few months??

I will honestly let my frustration with and my dislike of Hendry’s skills as GM go…for a few months only, in order to do something that will make fellow suffering Cubs’ fans, well suffer less. It’s the least I can do BUT, please tell me the truth, would either of you MIND seeing Hendry replaced?
Now, on to finding the positives…Theriot looks pretty good so far, Byrd will be a big help, Wells looks good, Lee is having a good spring…hey…I might be able to do this!!

Joey, I think you’re terrific. Your comments re the signing of Mr. Nady reinforced it. (What was he THINKING?) Rant away . . .

George, you must not read this blog often, it’s safe to say that Joey has ranted once or twice before!
Joey, I wouldn’t mind seeing him replaced I just get tired of hearing the same argument over and over. If/when he does something else stupid then by all means vent, but I would prefer to focus on the excitement of a new season for now! For instance did you see how good Castro looked today? So far he’s looked ready to play in the bigs. i may be changing my opinion on whether he should start in Iowa.

First to georgealtmanfan…THANK YOU. Second, to pman I think there is nothing stopping us from having a civil discourse using civil comments, which I thnk mine were always at least civil, yes cynical and even negative but for the fact that they ANNOYED YOU, I think they were on the mark. Anyways, back to civil discourse, your comment regarding the good play of Castro is so true! But your thinking of changing your mind about him starting in Iowa speaks volumes concerning our two different mind sets regarding “our team”. I am of the mind set that when you have somebody of Castro’s caliber and the options of Fontenot and Baker at second base (neither one anything to write home about or a lock) WHY NOT START CASTRO IN THE BIGS TO BEGIN WITH?? This is elemental and has nothing to do with my dislike for Hendry’s job skills, quite the oppositie in fact. Wasn’t Hendry or his “people” responsable fo recognizing and drafting Castro? And now that he is shining at an early age and more importantly can fill A NEED on the big league club, his advancement is still retarded?? What exactly is the plan that these “people in charge” have? This is about putting the most capable, talented players ON THE BIG LEAGUE CLUB in order to have the best chances of getting to the World Series and I think the chance of getting there is much greater with the very young, inexperienced yet talented Castro at SS and Theriot at 2B rather than Theriot at SS and either of the experienced re-treads at 2B. Sure, it’s a gamble bringing Castro up too soon, but they should strike while the kid is experiencing a very good spring and hope they are closer to an Andrew Jones situation and not a Corey Patterson situation. LET’S GO FOR IT!!!

I wish everyone had seen Starlin Castro play Thursday in Peoria …

Carrie…too cryptic! Was he good or bad??? C’mon, spill!

Joey, I got no problem with your criticism or your venting but this is what we’ve got for now and I think we are in pretty good shape. I agree with you that Hendry needs to think before he acts or he does need to go. I don’t agree with everything him or Piniella does but that is why they are where they are and why we are where we are. I agree with you in a lot of areas but state your frustration once and be done with it.

Joey, I’m not saying what you’re saying is wrong just redundant. Like I said, I agree with most that you say. Pman hit it on the head, let’s talk about now and what’s going on with the team. I don’t mind hearing it once or twice but all the time? As for Castro, give him a chance move him up. He’s the future and it’s looking bright.

No rules, no regulations, no handbook, just an opinion.

Joey, he was really, really good.

I wasn’t there and Carrie probably was, but with the numbers he put up at the plate I’m assuming she was very impressed.

I must have missed the “brewha1703@yahoo.com” rules and regulations for stating one’s frustration when signing on. But I did however notice the “GEORGEALTMANFAN” rule no. 1969 subsection no. 1984, in paragragh no. 1989, page no. 2003, book no. 2008 and chapter no. 2009 heretofore referred to as “The Rant Anyway” rule…AND I LIKE IT. (much more so than being told to state my frustration only once and be done with it) Let me ask you brew, what do YOU like being told to do? Maybe if more of us repeatedly stated our frustration in various ways we wouldn’t be stuck with “what we’ve got for now” (pretty good shape just won’t cut it, aspire for at least damn good shape?) Which I might add is yet another ringing endorsement to Hendry’s resume. Right up there with “we’ve moved on…” After all we ALL know how you and pman feel about me so can you just let it go for a few months?

So that wasn’t posted yet when I wrote my post, but sorry to jump in too soon. It’s great to see him succeed despite all the expectations. There is a lot of time yet in spring training, but so far so good. Joey, I’m much more conservative than you in regards to bringing up young talent, but if he keeps up this torrid pace I don’t think the Cubs will have a choice.

Joey, I must admit that last post made me smile! I have no problem with you as you’re an intelligent Cubs fan. You just get stuck in a rut at times and repeat your frustration several times in pretty much the same way. I prefer to talk about what’s going on with the baseball team than to rant about the GM. I realize those two things are intimately related, but let’s give the players a chance to redeem themselves and Hendry. There is no doubt in my mind that the extreme pressure put on the Cubs players by fans like us who desperately want at least a WS appearance makes it tougher for the players to do their job. I know what you’re thinking, that with the 100+ million that some of them are going to make that they should be able to deal with it. However, all players are living the dream that most of us would love to be living and if we’re going to live it vicariously through them then we need to be fans and supporters not critics. A positive environment will create a winning environment instead of an oppressively negative one. Let me know what you think Joey and friends…I a big boy and can handle the criticism. I do ask that the Cubs fans would consider what I’m saying and to at least give it a try.

pman, I’m seriosly interested in your take on some of the Cubs rookies that may have been brought up too soon and would have benefitted by more time in the minors. Maybe Patterson? I think it wouldn’t have mattered with him as he was really a little too slight of build to be the 5 tool player the Cubs had him advertised as. I admit it is rather hard to come up with any Cubs rookies that have had stellar careers in the first place. Mark Grace comes to mind but I’m not sure how much time he spent in the minors.

The thing with Castro is he is should be the exception because their is such a glaring need for strength up the middle on the major league team. Not at all as if he was a first baseman or third baseman such as Vitters, there is no need to bring up promising rookies when you have Lee and Ramirez. What do you think pman???
And brew…? Just an opinion huh? Practice what you preach as you seem to have redundantly expressed your opinion regarding MY OPINION and some of us (oh but NOT ME) may be annoyed with you as well. But I digress…

Joey, I think it comes down to playing time. Wherever Castro will get the most playing time in the toughest competition. If Castro gets to start at short every day in the bigs then that is what’s best for him. From what I’ve seen and with his great attitude, he’ll only get better with against high level competition. I’m not convinced that he’s ready for a long season in the majors yet but it might be worth the risk. The other problem with that is I’m not ready to write off Fontenot yet.

pman, but what about my question? Do any other rookies come to mind other than Grace having a long Cubs career? You’d have to go back to Ryno and he of course was developed by the Phillies. Thanks Dallas!!! And I hate to say it but you may want to think about writing off Fontenot as an EVERYDAY player, he better serves the team as a bench/role player.

Joey, On Fontenot I think we are just going to disagree for now. I realize that after last season my thoughts about him make no sense, but I think he’ll have a great year as a starter and concerning your defensive comments, I think Fontenot is a very good defensive 2nd basemen as well. Other than Grace, I’m not coming up with any other rookies having a long career as a Cub in the last 25 years or so. Santo came up through the Cubs system, but that was a looooooong time ago. Shawon Dunston is about the only other notable Cub that came up through the system somewhat recently.

Great goods from you, man. 3/11 Cubs notebook Muskat Ramblings I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just too fantastic. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is actually a great 3/11 Cubs notebook Muskat Ramblings informations.

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