Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’

3/1 Cubs notebook

Don’t read much into the early Cubs lineups this spring. Dale Sveum is still experimenting.

“I’ll probably have different lineups every day,” he said Thursday. “Like I told these guys, don’t look into any of the lineups that I throw out in the first week or so. I’m just getting a feel for things.”

The Cubs get started Friday with the first of two intrasquad games at HoHoKam Park, beginning at 1 p.m. MT. It’s open to the public and admission is free. Travis Wood and Randy Wells will each start. One thing Sveum hasn’t had to worry about is how hard the players are working in his first camp.

“The effort has been tremendous,” Sveum said.

* Starlin Castro, Joe Mather, Jeff Samardzija and Randy Wells advanced to the sweet 16 of the Cubs bunting tournament on Thursday.

“I’ve got Wells next — and I think we can look beyond that round,” Samardzija said, confidently.

The tourney shifts to the back field at HoHoKam as the Cubs move from the Fitch Park facilities to the stadium. Sveum will face Ryan Dempster in second round action on Friday. Other matches include Carlos Marmol vs. Paul Maholm, Geovany Soto vs. Jeff Baker and Marlon Byrd vs. David DeJesus.

* Soto, the Cubs’ regular catcher who has been sidelined with a groin injury, is making progress.

“He’s hitting a lot more, everything is coming together,” Sveum said. “He’s not having any discomfort or feeling anything in his agility. You can look for him back between [March 7-10] to play in a game.”

* Jeff Samardzija is eager to build off last season and grab one of the spots in the Cubs rotation. In the final two months of last season, the right-hander compiled a 1.26 ERA, giving up four earned runs over 28 2/3 innings. But he was pitching in relief then. Can he be a starter?

“That’s going to be the million dollar question in Spring Training,” Sveum said Thursday. “Against live hitters today, he threw the heck out of the ball and had great command, which he has every time. It’s going to be an interesting decision later this month.”

The difference is that his command is better, and he’s more aggressive with his command.

“I started bringing my cutter back in that I had two years ago when I was starting [at Triple-A] Iowa,” Samardzija said. “It’s understanding that as a starter I want these guys to put my ball in play early and I want to pitch deep in games. An emphasis on command. As a reliever, you come in and you can throw as hard as you want and get away with that but as a starter, I want low effort and get a lot of action early in the count.”

* Sveum is featured on billboards as part of a “Baseball is Better” ad campaign for the Cubs back in Chicago.

“You appreciate it but it’s not something — I’ve never had my picture on a billboard,” the new Cubs manager said. “I’m not the most fashionable guy or somebody who is going to smile and take pictures very well all the time. I’ve heard [the billboard] is OK. I’m not real comfortable with it.”

– Carrie Muskat

2/23 Cubs spring broadcast schedule

Can’t wait for baseball? You’ll be able to follow the Cubs’ Spring Training games on the air as 30 of the 35 games are scheduled to be available. The games will be available either on TV, radio, or internet radio broadcast. The 2012 broadcast schedule will feature six games televised by Cubs broadcast partners (four by WGN and two by Comcast SportsNet), 10 on the WGN Cubs radio network and 20 via internet radio broadcast on Fans will be able to access the Cubs Webcasts on and for free by registering for a log-in account with the website.

WGN Radio will broadcast three of the first four games: March 5 vs. Oakland; March 6 vs. Colorado; and March 7 at Kansas City.

The first televised spring game will be March 10 when the Cubs travel to play the Brewers on WGN.  Comcast SportsNet’s first game will be March 22 at Texas.

Cubs TV play-by-play announcer Len Kasper will once again join Mick Gillispie, radio broadcaster for Chicago’s Double-A Tennessee affiliate, for most of the internet radio broadcasts.  The Cubs first game of the spring will be available on on March 4 vs. the Athletics in Mesa.

– Carrie Muskat 

2/19 Pitchers and catchers workout

New manager Dale Sveum will get his first look on the field of the entire Cubs pitching staff on Sunday when they start work at Fitch Park. The workout is not expected to get underway until noon so players have time to undergo physicals in the morning in Mesa, Ariz. Sveum and new pitching coach Chris Bosio will be sorting out the starters. On Saturday, Sveum mentioned at least three spots are set in the rotation — most likely Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm. The competition gets underway Sunday.

– Carrie Muskat 

2/15 Cubs begin organizational meetings

The Cubs baseball operations staff, coaches and scouts will meet today in Mesa for the start of organizational meetings. Usually, these meetings are held in early November after the season is completed but the Cubs delayed their sessions until everyone was in place. Manager Dale Sveum and his staff met on Tuesday at Fitch Park in Mesa to prep for their first Spring Training together. Pitchers and catchers report on Saturday with the first workout scheduled for Sunday at Fitch. The Cubs are waiting to see if Blake DeWitt clears waivers. He was designated for assignment on Feb. 6, and if he is unclaimed, could return as a non-roster invitee. Also unresolved is the compensation issue for Theo Epstein. Expect a decision this week.

– Carrie Muskat

2/7 Numbers game

Tony Campana will switch to No. 1, Anthony Rizzo gets No. 44, and catcher Jason Jaramillo will inherit Carlos Zambrano’s No. 38 this spring in Cubs camp. For those of you curious about uniform numbers for some of the new faces, here are some updates:


Lendy Castillo – #52
Paul Maholm – #28
Andy Sonnanstine – #21
Chris Volstad – #32
Casey Weathers –  #56
Travis Wood – #30

Welington Castillo – #53
Steve Clevenger – #51
Jason Jaramillo – #38

Jeff Baker – #3
Adrian Cardenas – TBD
Junior Lake – #73
Anthony Rizzo – #44
Ian Stewart – #2
Josh Vitters – #61

Tony Campana – #1
David DeJesus – #9
Dave Sappelt – #17
Matt Szczur – #72

– Carrie Muskat

2/6 Non-roster invitees

Here are the 22 non-roster players invited to the Cubs’ Spring Training camp (in case you missed it). Pitchers/catchers report on Feb. 18, with a workout the next day. Position players report Feb. 23 and the first full squad workout will be Feb. 24 in Mesa, Ariz., at Fitch Park.

Pitchers: Esmailin Caridad, Marco Carrillo, Manuel Corpas, Jay Jackson, Rodrigo Lopez, Trey McNutt, Blake Parker, Dae-Eun Rhee, Trever Miller and Chris Rusin

Catchers: Michael Brenly, Jason Jaramillo and Blake Lalli

Infielders: Alfredo Amezaga, Edgar Gonzalez, Jonathan Mota, Bobby Scales and Matt Tolbert

Outfielders: Jim Adduci, Jae-Hoon Ha, Brett Jackson and Joe Mather

– Carrie Muskat 

2/6 Back to work

I apologize for the lull in postings. I went on what was supposed to be a baseball-free vacation, but the movie on the flight was “Moneyball.” The concierge at our hotel was drafted by the Yankees and knew Geovany Soto. Heard a lot of discussion about the power of the Dominican Republic team in the Caribbean World Series. On the flight home, the attendant announced they didn’t have the movie “Dolphin Tale” so we watched “Moneyball” again. What is important is that Cubs pitchers and catchers report to Mesa, Ariz., in 12 days. See everyone soon at Fitch Park.

– Carrie Muskat

1/21 Cubs spring broadcast schedule

The Cubs released their Spring Training broadcast schedule, and for the second straight year, most of the games will be available via television, radio or internet radio broadcast. A Cubs game will be available every day of the spring schedule via one or more broadcast mediums, and 30 of the 35 games are scheduled to be available to Cubs fans overall.
Six games will be televised (four by WGN and two by Comcast SportsNet), 10 will be on the WGN Cubs radio network, and 20 via internet radio broadcast on  Fans will be able to access the Cubs Webcasts on and for free by registering for a log-in account with the website.
WGN Radio will broadcast three of the first four games: March 5 vs. Athletics; March 6 vs. Rockies; and March 7 vs. Royals. The first televised spring game will be on WGN on March 10 when the Cubs face the Brewers in Maryvale. All games start at 1:05 p.m. Arizona time unless otherwise noted.
Date/opponent/site/broadcast availability
March 4 vs. Athletics, Mesa,
March 5 vs. Athletics, Mesa, WGN Radio
March 6 vs. Rockies, Mesa, WGN Radio
March 7 at Royals, Surprise; WGN Radio
March 8 vs. Mariners, Mesa,
March 9 at White Sox, Glendale,
March 10 at Brewers, Maryvale, WGN-TV, WGN Radio
March 11 at Dodgers, Glendale, WGN-TV,
March 12 vs. Reds, Mesa, WGN Radio
March 13 at Giants, Scottsdale,
March 14 vs. Brewers, Mesa,
March 15 (ss) vs. Diamondbacks, Mesa,; at Rockies, Scottsdale
March 16 vs. Giants, Mesa,
March 17 (ss) at Athletics, Phoenix, WGN Radio; vs. Rangers, Las Vegas
March 18 (ss) vs. White Sox, Mesa,; vs. Rangers, Las Vegas
March 19 at Mariners, Peoria,
March 20 (ss) vs. Rangers, Mesa,; at Athletics, Phoenix
March 22 at Rangers, Surprise, CSN,
March 23 at Rockies, Scottsdale, (1:10 p.m. MT)
March 24 vs. Padres, Mesa, WGN-TV, WGN Radio
March 25 at Indians, Goodyear, WGN-TV, WGN Radio
March 26 (ss) vs. Padres, Mesa,; at Diamondbacks, Scottsdale
March 27 at Reds, Goodyear,
March 28 vs. Indians, Mesa,
March 29 at Padres, Peoria,
March 30 vs. Dodgers, Mesa,
March 31 vs. Angels, Mesa, CSN, WGN Radio
April 1 at Angels, Tempe,
April 2 at Diamondbacks, Scottsdale, (1:10 p.m. MT)
April 3 vs. Brewers, Mesa, WGN Radio (12:05 p.m. MT)
– Carrie Muskat 

1/4 Spring report dates for Cubs

Want to see the Cubs this spring? Pitchers and catchers report to Mesa, Ariz., on Feb. 18, and the full squad must report by Feb. 23. The first full squad workout under new manager Dale Sveum and staff at Fitch Park will be Feb. 24.
– Carrie Muskat

11/28 A’s consider Mesa as Spring Training site

When the Cubs leave their current Spring Training facility in Mesa, Ariz., the Athletics could move in. The A’s have entered exclusive negotiations with the city of Mesa that could result in a move from Phoenix. The Cubs are relocating to a new site in Mesa, which was expected to be ready for Spring Training 2014. The A’s would move their year-round Minor League operations from Phoenix’s Papago Sports Complex to Mesa’s Fitch Park. The exclusive negotiation period lasts through May 15. Oakland’s current agreement with the city of Phoenix expires after the 2014 season.

– Carrie Muskat


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