1/11 Cubs eager to get started on 2012
Randy Wells expects another competitive spring because of the new pitchers the Cubs added this offseason.
“It was competitive last year in Spring Training — not quite to this extent,” Wells said Wednesday during a Cubs caravan stop. “At the same time, it was fun to go in there and earn your keep. … I think I pitched good enough in the second half to at least put my name in the mix for competition.”
Although he’d prefer to start, Wells will do whatever the Cubs ask. He has one goal.
“I want to win here,” Wells said. “I want to be a part of it. You think about the scenario. Think about how hard it is to drive down Waveland and Clark streets on a regular day when we win. I can’t imagine how it would be when we win it. I want to be a part of that.”
* Darwin Barney also is eager to get started after talking to new manager Dale Sveum.
“I’m excited to be here and I think we’re excited about the staff we have,” Barney said. “I’ve had an opportunity to talk to these guys. It gets you excited when you talk about their philosophies and the things they have to say.”
Sveum talked about moving forward and how the Cubs will get better. Barney isn’t taking anything for granted.
“You’re always competing,” the second baseman said. “Going into Spring Training is no different than it was last year for me. You’ve got new management, new coaches. You never know what they’re thinking. For me, I’m going to focus on being ready and try to win a job.”
* Tony Campana has added 10 pounds after an offseason at “Camp Bussy,” which was renamed in honor of strength coordinator Tim Buss. It was formerly “Camp Colvin” for Tyler Colvin. Campana has worked primarily on improving his upper body strength. Maybe he’ll hit a home run over the fence? He has one in the big leagues, an inside the park homer against the Reds.
“I’ve worked on my speed, too, so maybe I can hit a couple over the fence and a couple inside the park ones, too,” he said.
* New pitching coach Chris Bosio has started looking at video of the Cubs pitchers and talked to many of them. He has a feel for the pitchers because of his past job as an advance scout. Bosio has yet to talk to closer Carlos Marmol, who needs to get back on track.
“I think with Marmol, you just want him to be himself,” Bosio said. “We’ll address the mechanical stuff when we get a chance to see him. You’ve got a unique guy. Cal McLish, an old pitching coach told me, ‘Always let these guys go a little bit before you start changing anybody,’ and that’s my plan. I’ve got to see them first in person. Video can tell you so much, sitting 10 rows deep [in the stands as a scout] can tell you some things, too. You’ve got to let these guys be who they are and then try to help them and not so much maybe with mechanics but where we’re going with the pitch.”
Theo Epstein & Co. sought Bosio’s input on the pitchers they added this offseason.
“There were some questions and I gave my two cents,” Bosio said. “I felt like we were pretty much on the same page a lot, which was refreshing. We’ve got some very intelligent guys who we’re working with. They know the lingo, they know the terminology, they know what they like. They’re not shy about using their own phrases, which is again, refreshing for me, being on the same page not only on what we see on these guys but the terminology. It’s a nice combination.”
— Carrie Muskat