3/25 Trammell checks out the infield

Alan Trammell was the acting manager on Thursday in Tucson and was the perfect person to give an assessment of the Cubs’ infielders. Trammell says Mike Fontenot has come a long way. The Cubs have had Fontenot play shortstop to see if he can handle that in a pinch.

“I’m confident to say he can do it,” Trammell said.

The Cubs want to find someone who can give Theriot a day off now and then. It will help determine the bench. If Fontenot can do it, the Cubs may be more likely to carry Chad Tracy or Kevin Millar.

“To me, [Fontenot] looks like a better player this spring,” Trammell said of Fontenot.

* Trammell also got to see super hyped shortstop Starlin Castro, who is now in the Minor League camp.

“There’s no question that as much as he thought he was ready to play — and he should feel that way — he was not ready,” Trammell said. “I just think there’s all parts of his game that he needs to get a little better at. He just turned 20 years old [on Wednesday]. He’s a very good looking ballplayer and I think he’s got a great future, bright future. He needed to go down there to get regular at-bats and regular playing time and we’ll see what happens.”

* One infielder who Trammell says has “opened some eyes” is Darwin Barney. He spent part of Wednesday working on the second base pivot with Theriot.

“He’s a shortstop and learning second base and going back and forth has been an adjustment,” Trammell said of Barney. “I’m confident that in time, he’s a guy we could depend on.”

— Carrie Muskat

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