Trying to get about a million things done here one day before leaving for Mesa and spring training. If all goes well, I’ll hit Fitch Park by about 1 tomorrow Mountain time, pick up my car and credential and see who’s around. From what I hear, a lot of players, including position players, have been working out in Mesa. Jim Hendry and Lou will meet with us formally for the first time Wednesday. I’ll also take a camera with me. Don’t count on any Pulitzer stuff, but I’ll try to put a few images of spring up here on the blog and with my stories for the paper and Web site.
We may find out this week whether Ryan Theriot has won his arbitration case. It’ll be fun interviewing The Riot about that, win or lose.
Here’s the roster of Cubs players who will be in spring training:
Pitchers: Mitch Atkins, Justin Berg, Esmailin Caridad, Ryan Dempster, Rafael Dolis, John Gaub, Tom Gorzelanny, John Grabow, Jeff Gray, Angel Guzman, Ted Lilly, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, Marcos Mateo, Mike Parisi, Blake Parker, David Patton, Jeff Samardzija, Carlos Silva, Jeff Stevens, Randy Wells, Carlos Zambrano
Catchers: Welington Castillo, Koyie Hill, Geovany Soto
Infielders: Jeff Baker, Andres Blanco, Mike Fontenot, Micah Hoffpauir, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Theriot
Outfielders: James Adduci, Marlon Byrd, Tyler Colvin, Kosuke Fukudome, Sam Fuld, Xavier Nady, Alfonso Soriano
Pitchers: Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, Jeff Kennard, J.R. Mathes, Vince Perkins, James Russell
Catchers: Robinson Chirinos, Steve Clevenger, Chris Robinson
Infielders: Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro, Blake Lalli, Kevin Millar, Chad Tracy, Josh Vitters
Outfielders: Matt Camp, Brett Jackson, Bryan LaHair, Bobby Scales, Brad Snyder
Obvious player to watch: Starlin Castro
Dark-horse candidates to watch: Darwin Barney, Blake Parker
Pitching prospect to watch: Andrew Cashner
Annual Rule 5 pick: Mike Parisi
Big Number: 12. The Cubs have 21 nonroster men in camp. They like to point out that 12 of those 21 were either drafted by or signed originally by the Cubs. The last four No. 1 picks will be there: Brett Jackson, Andrew Cashner, Josh Vitters and Tyler Colvin. It’ll also be interesting to see such pitchers as Casey Coleman, John Gaub and Thomas Diamond
Medical watch: Ted Lilly (shoulder rehab); Aramis Ramirez (shoulder rehab), Alfonso Soriano (knee rehab)
Position battles: Nos. 4 and 5 starters, involving Sean Marshall, Tom Gorzelanny, Carlos Silva and Jeff Samardzija. Also, keep an eye on the battle for reserve spots, among Micah Hoffpauir, Kevin Millar, Chad Tracy and Bryan LaHair.
Big question: Can Starlin Castro break with the team and push Theriot to second base? From what GM Jim Hendry says, that’s doubtful, but I suspect we’ll see Castro up with the big club before 2010 is over.
As always, we shall see.
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