2/24 Extra bases

* Jeff Samardzija will start the Cubs’ Cactus League opener but manager Rick Renteria wasn’t ready to name his Opening Day starter just yet. Samardzija, who did start Opening Day 2013, tested the mound at new Cubs Park on Monday with a brief workout. On Thursday, he’ll open the Cactus League season and Cubs Park’s first year against the Diamondbacks.

“So many things can happen over the course of the spring, I’m not going to lock myself into trying to divulge something I can’t determine what it will be in the end,” Renteria said when asked who would start March 31 when the Cubs open the 2014 season against the Pirates.

* In Cactus League action, lefty Chris Rusin will start Friday against the Angels in Tempe. On Saturday, the Cubs have a day-night doubleheader, and Travis Wood will go in the first game in Mesa against the Giants, and Edwin Jackson will start the night game against the Diamondbacks in Scottsdale. Jason Hammel, who signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month, will start Sunday against the Royals.

* There were a few problems figuring out how to get from the Cubs’ complex to the field, but so far, the team’s new spring stadium, Cubs Park, is passing all the tests. On Monday, some of the Cubs, including Anthony Rizzo, Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro, had a chance to take batting practice at the new ballpark, which is a short golf cart ride from the Spring Training facility. Pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood tested the mound in an early session. The only minor glitch was figuring out which door to use to gain access.

“It’s a beautiful facility,” Renteria said. “Obviously, we came and saw it earlier but to have them go out there and hit, we’ll allow them to get a feel for the field.”

What did Renteria like?

“Everything,” he said. “It’s brand new, [there’s] expansive seating — it’s incredible. For a Spring Training facility, that’s a big league ballpark.”

The Cubs will play a six-inning intrasquad game on Wednesday at Cubs Park starting at 1 p.m. MT. Eric Jokisch and Kyle Hendricks will start.

* There are some familiar faces in the Cubs’ Minor League mini camp, including Casey Coleman, Nick Struck, Ryan Searle, Lendy Castillo and Dae-Eun Rhee. They were asked to start their camp workouts early so they’re ready for Cactus League games if needed.

— Carrie Muskat


Travis Wood for Opening Day pitcher

I like that suggestion by Cubs Talk. I believe Wood is our best starting pitcher at this early stage.


I’m curious about something. Will Wednesday’s intrasquad game be open for the public?

Pingback: Samardzija Could Still Be Traded Before Opening Day and News from Day 12 of Cubs Camp - Chicago Cubs Online

Gordon Whittenmyer/pingback, Its possible that anyone could be traded before Spring Training ends, not just Jeff Samardizja. Then you use the example of Jeff Samardizja not being named the Opening Day starter as your reason. Sir, the games have not even started.
Next, why do you think that Renteria should choose Samardizja over Wood? If you base the opening season starter on last years results, Wood had the better season by far.
Is it possible that Renteria wants them to work for that Opening Day start? After all, it is considered an honor, so why give it too whoever cries the loudest?
I would not care one little bit if Samardizja is traded, but starting gossip for no reason is childish on your part. Of course the Blue Jays and Rangers are interested, I bet many other teams are interested, but there is no trade until it is announced.

also wouldn’t it be nice to get a nice… expansive…. bigger seating… luxurious seating…. jumbotron in our regular stadium??? Not a renovation…. a NEW STADIUM!!!!!!!!! Pretty sad when our spring training facility is better than our regular season stadium.

I prefer Wrigley Field, however if the roof top owners continue to hold up progress, I am all for a move.
Its time to move forward, one way or the other.

i don’t honestly… i think wrigley field is a joke and is known for losing and drinking….. what history is there that the cubs made? Why is that so glorious? If Yankee Stadium can be demo’d and a new stadium built in its place so can the turd we call Wrigley Field…. its time for more revenue… its time for a new attitude as an organization.

Doesn’t this constitute blasphemy? There are those who view Wrigley Field as sacred. I do not go that far, but predict you are going to receive much blowback for those comments.

Its our opinion jhosk, I dont entirely agree with petrey10’s opinion, but I definately would not let roof top owners hold up my Organization if I owned the Cubs.
Myself, I love Wrigley Field. However, the Cubs would still be my team with or without it.

I hear you, Jasper, and understand your point of view. No one seems to want to answer my question about if fans are going to be able to see today’s intrasquad game. I did not think it was a controversial topic. Do you know, Jasper?

Wish I could answer that question for you jhosk, but I wont be in that area of AZ today.
If I was, I would be going and trying to get in. I will be at the game Saturday and may attend the one in Scottsdale Saturday night. I will be at both games in Vegas on MAR 15th & 16th.

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