2/16 Saturday first watch

* For those of you who keep track of such things, Cubs players who are out of options include:

Michael Bowden
Welington Castillo
Rafael Dolis
Jeff Samardzija
Luis Valbuena
Travis Wood

That may contribute to what the Cubs do with Wood. Right now, he appears to have an edge on the fifth starter spot because Scott Baker is not expected to be ready for the start of the season and Carlos Villanueva is slotted for the bullpen.

* The bunting tourney gets underway Saturday with 16 front office staff competing for the 64th spot in the bracket. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer go head to head in the first round. We’ll keep you updated.

* Ian Stewart said he’s happy with the way his wrist feels after his long offseason of rehab. So far, there’s no soreness. He’s not expected to require a brace, although that may change in games. It’s as if he has a new wrist.

“I feel like it’s fixed and I’m not sure how much more I could do to it,” Stewart said. “It was a pleasant surprise, at least mentally, that there was nothing in there at all [that bothered me] when I started swinging.”

* Pitchers slated to throw bullpen session on Saturday include Scott Baker, Scott Feldman, Kyuji Fujikawa, Travis Wood and Carlos Villanueva.

* If you’re coming to Fitch Park on Sunday to watch the first full squad workout, you can sleep in a little. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts will address the team and the workout was not expected to start until 11 a.m. Arizona time.

* Travis Wood will start the Cubs’ Cactus League opener on Feb. 23 against the Angels, followed by Jeff Samardzija.

— Carrie Muskat


Sounds like good news from Ian Stewart. If his wrist is really healed and good I think we will see a great 3rd base player this season. Our infield is looking great!

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