3/13 Extra bases

* Scott Baker, coming back from Tommy John surgery, will make his first Cactus League start Sunday for the Cubs against the Athletics at HoHoKam Stadium. Baker tuned up by throwing two innings in a Minor League game Tuesday at Fitch Park. Cubs manager Dale Sveum watched the workout and said Baker’s velocity improved in his second inning, and he was throwing his breaking ball as well. If all goes well, Baker could be ready for the regular season by mid April.

* Both Ian Stewart and Josh Vitters were scheduled to run the bases on Wednesday, and if all goes well, they could get into a game on Thursday. Stewart and Vitters both have been sidelined with sore left quads, injured Feb. 21 in an intrasquad game. Whether they will play in a Minor League game or a Cactus League game was to be determined.

* Matt Garza was to play catch on Wednesday, and continues to make progress in his rehab from a strained left lat. Garza was not expected to be ready for the regular season until early May.

* Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Villanueva will start Saturday and Sunday for the Cubs in split squad games in Las Vegas against the Rangers. Hisanori Takahashi will start Saturday in Mesa against the Royals, while Baker will start Sunday.

— Carrie Muskat


With Samardzija going Saturday and Takahashi going Saturday in the split squad does that leave Wood to Start on Friday?

It would be nice to get another starter. Baker is legite, he will be ready. Vizcaino needs another year, maybe two. They are good.

Villanueva and Feldman need a couple good starts before the season starts. Wood has done very well, Jackson had a very good game today. Shark is getting his innings, not looking as effective as last year, hopefully he gets it together.

Thats my starting 5, hopefully Baker will be ready by mid May in case one has problems. If not Rusin has done ok, maybe he will have another good start or two. I have 0 faith Garza will be effective at all this year.

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