3/26 Russell will wait and see

James Russell is going to wait and see how spring camp winds up before making any plans. It appears the lefty has made the Cubs’ bullpen. He combined to go 5-6 with a 4.03 ERA at Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa last season, making 12 starts.

“I won’t believe it until I’m in Atlanta where we open up,” Russell said. “I’m just going about my business the same way as if I wasn’t even competing for a job. I’m just trying to go out there and make a name for myself.”

Russell did talk once to Cubs manager Lou Piniella in the dugout and told the lefty had a good chance to stick.

“I was looking at this as good experience,” Russell said. “I had a good Fall League and I was trying to move from that and keep working on what helped me be successful in the Fall League.”

Russell is the son of Jeff Russell, who pitched for the Reds, Rangers, Athletics, Red Sox and Indians. Both are eager to see what happens.

“He’s a nervous wreck every time I pitch,” James said. “He’s in the same boat I am — he wants to make it just as bad as I do.”

Jeff has passed on a lot of info to his son.

“I know we’re different pitchers,” James said. “He threw a heck of a lot harder than I do. Everything he’s taught me mechanically and mentally, I’m trying to build off that and do what I can do with my stuff.”

— Carrie Muskat

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