Archive for the ‘ Dailies ’ Category

3/22 Aramis Ramirez update

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez, bothered by a fever, was back in camp Tuesday and took batting practice. He may play Wednesday, manager Mike Quade said. Ramirez has not played since Friday. He was sent home Saturday with a 102-degree fever.

“I was somewhat impressed,” Quade said of Ramirez’s appearance on Tuesday. “I know he’s not feeling good and he looked me in the eye and said, ‘I want to play tomorrow.’ I’ve liked his swing all spring and with a veteran guy I’m not as concerned.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/22 Decisions, decisions

Cubs manager Mike Quade may not get much sleep Tuesday night. Quade met in the morning with GM Jim Hendry, assistant GM Randy Bush, pitching coach Mark Riggins and bench coach Pat Listach to go over the roster, including the fifth spot in the rotation.

Randy Wells, who has a 1.35 ERA this spring, has secured the No. 4 spot, and it’s down to Carlos Silva, Andrew Cashner and Braden Looper for the last opening. Silva, who has a 15.88 ERA in four outings, will start Wednesday against the Athletics, while Carlos Zambrano, who is set, will go to the Minor League camp to get his work in. Cashner threw nearly 60 pitches over three innings Monday in the rain against the Angels but has not been stretched out to 80 pitches.

“I have a lot to sleep on and or not sleep on tonight regarding the pitching and other areas, too,” Quade said. “In the next couple days, we have to get this thing done. The truck’s leaving Sunday.”

That’s the truck that carries players’ personal belongings to Chicago.

– Carrie Muskat

3/22 Cubs extra bases

GM Jim Hendry, assistant GM Randy Bush, manager Mike Quade, bench coach Pat Listach, and pitching coach Mark Riggins met Tuesday morning to go over the roster. We’re not expecting any moves until possibly Wednesday.

* Augie Ojeda felt instant relief after receiving a cortisone shot in his back. He’s been bothered by back spasms. Ojeda will try to hit off a batting tee on Wednesday, and if he continues to progress, could get in a game Friday.

* Aramis Ramirez was at HoHoKam Park to work out Tuesday. He has not played since Friday because of a high fever.

* Carlos Zambrano said he had a good turnout Monday night at his home run derby fundraiser in Gilbert, Ariz., despite the rainy weather. Zambrano is next scheduled to pitch Wednesday against the Athletics in Mesa.

* Justin Berg and Carlos Marmol both threw in the Minor League camp on Tuesday. Other pitchers scheduled to throw Tuesday in the Cubs’ game against the Dodgers include John Grabow, Scott Maine, Sean Marshall and Jeff Samardzija.

– Carrie Muskat

3/21 Catching on

Welington Castillo is 12-for-17 this spring, and granted, that’s not very many at-bats, but he has opened some eyes.

“He’s played well, he’s a talented kid — he’s got a shot,” Mike Quade said of the young catcher. “But that’s where these kind of conversations [Tuesday] get in-depth as far as what’s best. [Geovany] Soto’s our starting catcher, period. I’m expecting big things and we’d love to see him even better.”

On Tuesday, Quade will meet with the Cubs front office to discuss some of the roster spots.

“This guy’s got a bright future,” Quade said of Castillo. “The decision on him will be based on that. [Should he be] sitting on the bench at Wrigley or getting at-bats every day. To me, I have a good feel for what I think can happen.”

The Cubs’ backup catching options include Castillo, Koyie Hill, and Max Ramirez.

– Carrie Muskat

3/21 Q on DeWitt, second base

The competition at second base for the Cubs is getting interesting with eight games to play. At the start of camp, Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker were expected to platoon at second. But Darwin Barney was batting .371, Baker .395 and DeWitt .163. Does DeWitt have a spot on the roster?

“Right now he does,” Mike Quade said, “but there are some guys pushing and we ain’t left yet, so we’ll see.”

The Cubs would like a left-handed bat in the mix. Scott Moore and Bobby Scales are both left-handed hitters. Quade said he likes the job Moore has done at first and third base. Scales has done well at second.

“Are they Gold Glovers? No, I don’t think so,” Quade said.

But he also won’t rule either out automatically. That will be part of the discussion on Tuesday when Quade sits down with GM Jim Hendry and others to discuss the roster.

– Carrie Muskat

3/21 Cubs to meet Tuesday re: roster

Mike Quade will meet Tuesday morning with GM Jim Hendry, assistant GM Randy Bush, pitching coach Mark Riggins, bench coach Pat Listach and others to discuss the state of the Cubs and make some roster decisions.

“It’s time to sit down,” Quade said Monday.

The Cubs have nine games remaining this spring.

“I think the conversation tomorrow basically talks about everybody’s role on this club — who’s still alive to make this club, who’s not, where we see the depth, the rankings from the pitching to the bullpen, the whole club,” Quade said. “We have decisions to make. We know a healthy [Aramis] Ramirez is our third baseman, but we’re going to go through the whole club — at least that’s what I want to do. We’ll look at every angle, every possibility.”

Quade has his opinions on certain players. For example, catcher Welington Castillo has opened his eyes. Castillo was batting .706 this spring. That’ll get your attention. However, they have to determine whether Castillo and the Cubs are better served if he’s starting at Triple-A Iowa or backing up Geovany Soto on the big league team. Blake DeWitt, on the other hand, is hitting .163 and still has work to do at second base.

Quade said he’s already had some healthy disagreements with Hendry, Bush and others, and that’s OK.

“I’m not of the mentality that I have to win,” Quade said. “I’m not an ego guy. I want to do the right thing.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/21 Cubs lineup & more

Aramis Ramirez was scratched from Monday’s lineup. He went home Saturday with a 102-degree fever. Jeff Baker was scheduled to start at third against the Angels.

* Kerry Wood and James Russell were to throw in a Minor League game at Fitch Park on Monday.

* Angel Guzman shifted his rehab to the Minor League camp. He was scheduled to throw batting practice Wednesday and could get into a game there in one week. He’s coming off right shoulder surgery, which forced him to miss all of 2010. “He’s certain he’s coming back,” Mike Quade said of Guzman.

* Infielder Augie Ojeda was scheduled to have a cortisone shot on Monday. He’s been limited because of back spasms.

Winds are gusting up to 35 mph in the Valley today. Here’s Monday’s lineup:

RF Fukudome
SS Castro
CF Byrd
1B Pena
C Soto
LF Soriano
3B Baker
2B Barney
P Cashner

– Carrie Muskat

3/20 Updated Cubs lineup vs Giants

With Aramis Ramirez out because of a 102-degree fever, Josh Vitters will start at third base Sunday for the Cubs against the Giants. Here’s the updated lineup:

RF Camp
SS Castro
CF Byrd
LF Soriano
1B Moore
2B Scales
3B Vitters
C Hill
P Wells

– Carrie Muskat

3/20 Cubs lineups vs Giants, Angels

Here’s Sunday’s Cubs lineup vs. the Giants split squad on Sunday in Mesa:

RF Matt Camp
SS Castro
CF Byrd
3B Ramirez
1B Moore
LF Soriano
2B Scales
C Hill
P Wells

Andrew Cashner will start Monday against. the Angels in Tempe. Here’s the lineup:

RF Fukudome
SS Castro
CF Byrd
3B Ramirez
1B Pena
LF Soriano
C Soto
2B Barney
P Cashner

– Carrie Muskat

3/20 Casey Coleman update

Casey Coleman gave up two hits over three scoreless innings pitching for the Cubs’ Triple-A team against the Giants in Minor League camp Saturday. The right-hander did not walk anyone and struck out three. He threw 35 pitches. Coleman is being considered for the Cubs’ bullpen as a possible long man.

– Carrie Muskat

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