2/25 Cubs notebook

Geovany Soto was held out of practice as a precautionary measure because of a sore groin. His status is day to day.

* During drills, the players who can handle more than one position, like Jeff Baker or Blake DeWitt, are being asked to stay at one position that day. On Friday, for example, Baker was at first, and on Saturday, he was at third.

“It’s just for the drills because we’ll be doing the same thing for seven days in a row and they’ll get a lot of work at each position,” Sveum said. “When we break over to HoHoKam, it’ll be a more normal style baseball day. For drill purposes, having people wandering all over the places in the drill, I don’t want them to be messed up.”

* When Sveum met with the media on Friday, he listed five starters: Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Paul Maholm, Randy Wells, and Travis Wood. Does that mean the rotation is set? No, Sveum said.

“Wells, Travis Wood, Volstad, Rodrigo Lopez, they’re all in the running for jobs,” Sveum said. “It’s just a matter of what happens in Spring Training.”

– Carrie Muskat

12 Comments

What’s the story with “The Shark” after he worked all season getting ready to get his shot at the rotation have they already written him off? If that is the case, I believe that is a big mistake. He has the potential to be a fabulous starter with his ceiling putting him as a legitimate ace. Good right handed bull pen pitchers are not that hard to come by….can someone help me here??

Correction: By “season” I meant off season.

The spring training games haven’t even started yet… slow down :)
It’s just an off-handed comment from Sveum, not a list of the only starters in the mix (he also forgot Coleman).

As far as a ceiling of ‘legitimate ace’ – Uh – that’s QUITE a bit too optimistic in my opinion. Last year was really the only year he’s even looked consistently good in the bullpen. He’ll get his shot, but there are a lot of pitchers competing for those last three starting spots. And good right-handed setup men are NOT that easy to come by… but starting pitching is of course more important. Plenty of time left in spring, we’ll see what happens.

Smardj has only two pitches. So by the second or third time a batter sees him they can sit on a pitch. But he is learning and Mark Riggins had a lot to do with his transformation last year.

Catch me up guys (gals?)…who’s “The Shark” pman is refering?

I guess our Notre Dame wide reciever….

its just unfortunate that he didn’t mention samardzija at all. he might not have ace potential, but his stuff is better that wells, wood, volstad, maholm, lopez, and coleman. He’s the only guy with front of the rotation potential outside of Garza and the only one that’s close to being ready because the upper minors are barren.

Denvil- You summed up what I was trying to say quite well. Let me clarify what I mean by ceiling. I don’t mean I think he’ll become the ace of the Cubs staff this season. I think he has the potential to get there if he can develop a reliable third or maybe even a fourth pitch. He’s got the size, athleticism, amazing fast ball and most importantly I think he has that “it” factor that all great athletes must have to be better than the average professional athlete.

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I too pman hope that “The Shark” is not being either overlooked or dismissed as a STARTER. This team is screaming for starters that are capable of performing better than
the “stud” we have in Dempster. In fact, what do the Cubs have to lose if “The Shark” beats out Dempster for a starting slot and Dempster goes back to the pen? At this point the money spent on Dempster is wasted anyway, might as well go with the BEST AVAILABLE starters and not get caught up in who’s being paid “starter money”. Everything should be thrown out the door and all players put on the same field of competition under this new, supposedly better regime of Epstein, Hoyer and Sveum.
Lets hope the three of them are men of their word and not another comedy act like Hendry and Quade.

I love the Shark, but there is lot of irrational optimism here for a pitcher who has largely been a bust for the huge contract he signed. Is it a Notre Dame alum thing? I just don’t get it. He’s just the latest version of Hoffpauir/JakeFox/Murton/(too many others to mention). Great guys. Nothing more than back of the roster players.

Better than Dempster, Wells, Wood, Maholm and Volstad?
Yikes. I seriously doubt it. He’ll get his shot (he’s already had more than most), and we’ll see what happens. But I’d slow down with penciling him into the #2 spot in the rotation.

Wow, the one guy I am giving some slack for Hendry signing and I’m being told that he is probably not better than the AWESOME likes of the 14 million dollar, highly over-rated Dempster, the converted postion player Wells, the new guys Wood, Maholm and Volstad??? I would say “The Shark” MAY have had a better season last year than ANY of them….and might very well be a welcome addition to the starting rotation. Especially considering the over the hill bums Hendry has paraded through Wrigley the past few years.

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