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