2/16 Cubs to break camp with 12 pitchers

The Cubs will carry 12 pitchers when they break camp, and manager Mike Quade is hoping to find players versatile enough to be stretched out and sub in long relief if needed. One candidate could be Jeff Samardzija, who is out of options. He’s been used both in relief and as a starter.

“My sense is we have plenty of those guys in this competition who would be flexible enough to either be in the rotation or be that long guy,” Quade said.

Youngsters like Trey McNutt, Chris Carpenter and Jay Jackson will get a good look this spring but Quade said it’s more to see if they can be used down the road.

“Let them jump up and have a [Tyler] Colvin spring and take me from that viewpoint to my goodness,” Quade said of the youngsters. “With younger pitchers, I think you first look at how do they handle themselves poise-wise, in front of the manager, here’s their first Spring Training, in Trey’s case for sure.

“There’s a lot of the mental side of it,” Quade said. “Then you watch command. You factor in that they’re pitching in Arizona and if there was ever a tougher place to compete for a pitcher, I don’t know where it’s at, except maybe Colorado Springs or Denver.”

— Carrie Muskat

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