3/21 Roster games

One of the favorite games in Spring Training is trying to decide the final 25-man roster. Lou Piniella has asked the beat writers for their picks. Now, it’s your turn. With Starlin Castro and Brad Snyder headed to the Minor Leagues, that leaves 40 players in camp. Two of those — Angel Guzman and Ted Lilly — are expected to open the season on the disabled list. Right now, 11 position players are set. There are 13 openings. Here’s a breakdown on who’s on the final 25-man roster and who’s still competing for a spot:

Catchers (2): Geovany Soto and Koyie Hill. Still in camp: Robinson Chirinos and Chris Robinson. Chirinos, converted from an infielder to a catcher prior to the 2009 season, has made great strides.

Infielders (5): Jeff Baker, Mike Fontenot, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Theriot. Still in camp: Darwin Barney, Andres Blanco, Micah Hoffpauir, Kevin Millar, Bobby Scales and Chad Tracy. Do the Cubs keep Blanco, who is a defensive specialist? Or do they keep Millar or Tracy, who provide experience off the bench and can make spot starts?

Outfielders (4): Marlon Byrd, Kosuke Fukudome, Xavier Nady, Alfonso Soriano. Still in camp: Jim Adduci, Tyler Colvin and Sam Fuld. Nady is expected to be able to play in the outfield a couple games a week but won’t be able to throw full force until June. The Cubs want someone who can play all three outfield spots and Adduci, Colvin and Fuld can all do that. If Colvin can get three starts a week plus at-bats as a sub, he would be on the Opening Day roster. The Cubs don’t want him sitting.

Starting pitchers (3): Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells. Still in camp: Tom Gorzelanny, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Silva. Silva makes his fourth start on Sunday and has shown progress each time out. Gorzelanny went 3 2/3 innings vs. the Athletics on Saturday, giving up two runs, both unearned, on four hits and five walks. Samardzija is slated to start Monday and Marshall will go Wednesday, and a decision was expected on the two who make the rotation after that.

Relief pitchers (4): Carlos Marmol, John Grabow, Esmailin Caridad, Justin Berg. Still in camp: John Gaub, Jeff Gray, Marcos Mateo, Mike Parisi, James Russell. Two of the starter candidates slide into the pen. That leaves one opening. Gray has been slowed by a groin strain and has yet to pitch in a game. Parisi, a Rule 5 Draft pickup, has given up five hits and three earned runs in his last 3 2/3 innings. Gaub and Russell are lefties. Russell has not given up an earned run in five appearances (seven innings). Gaub has had one bad outing vs. Dodgers.

— Carrie Muskat


My name is Travis Bournes of SIUe Mass Communications student and here’s my Cubs opening day 25-man Roster:

Catchers- Geovany Soto and Koyie Hill
infielders- Dereck Lee, Jeff Baker, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, Aramis Ramierz, Kevin Millar
outfielders- Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome, Tyler Colvin, Xavier Nady
starting pitchers- Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny, Carlos Silva
Relief pitchers- Carlos Marmol, John Grabow, Esmailin Caridad, Jeff Berg, Sean Marshall, John Gaub, Mike Parisi
Let me Know what you think! my twitter account is: travbourn

Here’s how I wish the roster would pan out, at least for opening day. Let’s start with starting pitching because the final decision will drive the bullpen arrangement. Zambrano, Dempster, and Wells are locks. I think Silva has earned a spot and, with his salary and experience, he deserves a shot to see if he can turn things around. It sound like Gorzellany will be the fifth guy. He pitched ok last year, but he will only be temporary since Lilly will be back after a couple of weeks and, with off days the first week or so, he will basically be a bull-pen guy anyways. That means Marshall and Samardzija will be in the bullpen Marshall is a much better guy in the pen than as a starter. The rest of the pen will be as they have said, but I think James Russell deserves a shot. No earned runs during Spring Training for him. That leaves them with three lefties in the pen and four righties to match up late in games. I personally think they could go with only 11 pitchers, but I understand why they want 12.

Now for the bench. This is where I am struggling to understand what Piniella and Hendry are thinking. The biggest problem that I have is why they are automatically considering Jeff Baker as a lock for the roster. Sure, he is a veteran and he played okay last year. He can play 2nd and 3rd and he may be able to spell someone in the outfield in an emergency. But he has hit horribly this spring. I think Andres Blanco would be much better as a backup infielder. He can back up 2nd, SS, and 3rd. He is a switch hitter. Yes, he has struggled at the plate, but he has never seen regular action. I would keep him over Baker. Then we have Nady and Koyie Hill as locks also. I would like to see the Cubs pick Colvin over Fuld, at least initially. Long term, Colvin is the better prospect and I get why the Cubs want to see him play every day. Early in the season, he may get that opportunity while Nady is still rehabbing his arm. If Colvin won’t get the chance to play regularly, then send him to Iowa and keep Fuld. This would allow the Cubs to keep either Tracy or Millar. I think Millar must be the choice, considering we need a back-up first baseman, but I would be content with either.

That’s it, that’s my roster if I am the GM.

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