Results tagged ‘ Chad Tracy ’

3/16 What to watch for …

Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez are both expected back in the Cubs’ lineup on Thursday when they return from an off day. Lee has played five games but has been sidelined with a bruised left foot. Ramirez has appeared in seven games so far, and was rested after feeling some soreness in his right tricep.

Lou Piniella hinted there will be some experimenting when the team returns from Wednesday’s off day. Kevin Millar, who left Monday’s game because of a mild thigh strain, will get some outfield work. So will Jeff Baker, who can expect some tutoring from outfield coach Mike Quade. Piniella wants to see how versatile his bench players can be.

Fontenot is key. If he can handle shortstop, then the Cubs feel they have enough support on the bench to carry someone like Millar or Chad Tracy.

“We want [Fontenot] to be able to finish a game out [at shortstop],” Piniella said. “If there’s a double switch we have to do for any reason — I don’t see us doing it too often with our shortstop — but if there’s a little injury or something, we want to make sure [Fontenot] can do the job. We’ll find that out in short order.”

Tuesday’s game against the Rangers was played in a brisk 2 hours 8 minutes.

“It’s a good way to enjoy St. Paddy’s Day tomorrow,” Piniella said.

— Carrie Muskat


3/14 Ramirez says he's OK

Aramis Ramirez said Sunday his arm is fine. The Cubs third baseman said he felt something on a throw to first in the second inning of Saturday’s game against the Reds. He understands that fans will panic when they hear that he’s feeling any discomfort.

“There’s no reason to [panic],” Ramirez said. “In a couple days, I’ll be back in there.”

He missed two months last season after dislocating his right shoulder in early May. Saturday’s injury also has nothing to do with the Cubs’ trip Monday to Tucson.

“I wasn’t going anyways,” Ramirez said of the upcoming junket. “[Lou Piniella] told me during batting practice [Saturday] that I wasn’t going. I was supposed to play [Sunday].”

Instead, Chad Tracy was starting at third base in the Cubs’ game against the Angels. Ramirez said he’ll throw either Monday or Tuesday, depending on how his arm feels.

— Carrie Muskat

2/24 Decisions, decisions

Mike Fontenot is willing to playing some shortstop this spring. He did it in the Minor Leagues in 2007 and also has taken grounders there during the regular season just to strengthen his throwing arm.

Lou Piniella wants Fontenot to be more comfortable at short to help determine the makeup of the Cubs’ bench.

“We’ve got a lot of people to look at here,” Piniella said. “Either you’re going to want a little more defense or you’re going to want some offense. If Fontenot can play some shortstop, we’ll look to carry a bat. If he can’t, we’ll be able to carry one less bat on the bench.

“The positions on the field are pretty well taken except we’re not exactly sure what we’re going to do at second base,” Piniella said. “If [Ryan] Theriot were to get hurt, which we don’t want obviously, we’ll just put the kid at shortstop and let him play.”

The kid is 19-year-old Starlin Castro.

If the Cubs felt they had enough depth at middle infield with Theriot, Fontenot and Jeff Baker, they could keep an extra bat like Kevin Millar, Chad Tracy, Brad Snyder, Bryan LaHair or someone like that. If the Cubs keep an extra defensive outfielder, a defensive infielder and a backup catcher, then they might need some help offensively off the bench.

“That’s what Spring Training is for and we’ll look at it,” Piniella said of the bench makeup. “No determination has been made.”

— Carrie Muskat