3/8 Cubs Inbox
The rotation, first base and players’ eating habits are among the topics in this week’s Cubs Inbox. Send your questions to CubsInbox@gmail.com, and please include your name and hometown.
Q: Who is going to fill out the rotation this year? Is it Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm? Can Randy Wells be optioned to Triple-A? — Matthew W., St. Peters, MO
A: Dempster, Garza and Maholm are set. That leaves Wood, Volstad, Wells, Rodrigo Lopez, Jeff Samardzija and Casey Coleman among those fighting for the final two spots. As Dale Sveum said Sunday: “I think everybody is in the mix for those last couple spots. … It’s going to be an interesting month.” As far as options, the only players who have less than five years of service time and are out of Minor League options are Samardzija, Marcos Mateo, Geovany Soto and Bryan LaHair. That means they would have to clear waivers before they can be sent to the Minors. Wells does have an option left.
Q: It looks like we’re loaded with first basemen in the farm system with Bryan LaHair, Rebel Ridling, Justin Bour and Richard Jones and trading for Anthony Rizzo adds another great bat. What do you think the Cubs plan to do with all that talent in one position? — Mike M., Mt. Pleasant, SC
A: Hopefully, they’ll find someone in that group who can be a superstar for years to come. There’s a baseball cliche that these things have a way of taking care of themselves.
Q: In the recent compensation agreement with the Red Sox for Theo Epstein, how does the player to be named later provision work? Does the receiving team get to choose? Did they negotiate a list to choose from? Is there a deadline? Is this a way to even up the trade because Chris Carpenter for Epstein is not an even trade? Could this be part of a quiet three-way trade? — Charlie K., Valparaiso, IN
A: First, there is no three-way deal, quiet or noisy. Second, the two teams have agreed on a list of lower level prospects and they’re expected to pick those players by mid April. As far as Carpenter is concerned, he was on the Red Sox’s wish list early in the process.
Q: With Anthony Rizzo being the first baseman of the future for the Cubs, when he eventually comes up, do you think there is any possibility the Cubs move Bryan LaHair to third base? I’d love to get his big left-handed bat at the hot corner. Could he be like a Troy Glaus perhaps? — Eric L., Glen Burnie, MD
A: LaHair is quicker this spring, he’s stronger, he can crush a baseball, but he’s not a third baseman.
Q: There was a report that the Cubs chef does not prepare red meat meals. Without further knowledge of the players’ nutrition guidelines, I think the lack of red meat in a male athlete’s diet is a major mistake. Red meat is a staple to an athletes’ diet. Are all meals prepared by the team chef? Can you please provide more details about the athletes’ diet? — Patrick G., Washington, DC
A: The Cubs have hired a company called “Cookin’ on Wood,” which provides breakfast and lunch each day in Spring Training. They handle about nine Major League teams in the Phoenix area. The players eat chicken, fish, and turkey, and lots of vegetables. Said chef John Droghetti: “Everyone has open minds and open mouths.” The team also has a nutritionist on staff. I don’t know what the players eat for dinner but I’m guessing they can get their red meat at that time if they want.
– Carrie Muskat