MESA, Ariz. _ After yesterday’s whirlwind day, it was more peaceful around these parts today. It was the first day of hitters taking “live” batting practice, and that’s never the most fun of days for the hitters.
"Very tough,” Lou said because the pitchers are ahead of the hitters, as they say. “A few of them migrated and became cagey hitters today. I don't blame them, really. Wait until the pitchers throw on the mound a couple times and start throwing a few more strikes. They got a lot of hitting in, though."
Yes, a few hitters headed toward the batting cages after taking a few jam shots. None of the Cubs’ regular pitchers threw live BP today. Got a chance to see the likes of Casey Coleman, James Russell, David Patton, Thomas Diamond, Mike Parisi, Jeff Stevens and others. The big guys should all throw tomorrow.
Lou says he likes the way his team is working so far.
"They're working hard," he said. "Guys are in good shape. Even our more veteran players like Derrek Lee and Ramirez, they look wonderful. And they're working hard, getting a lot of hitting in."
We’ll have some stories up online today, including a special feature on birthday boy Ron Santo, and some notes:
We'll have Lou expounding on the idea of Fontenot playing short. In essence, it's a way to get an extra bat onto the roster from the likes of Millar, Tracy, Hoffpauir, LaHair and Snyder.
One thing for sure, Lou seems eager to get Starlin Castro in there.
"Look, first of all, he's highly touted,” Lou said. “He's got a ton of ability, obviously. The good ones come really quick. The player will let you know if he's ready or not, and we'll see that here in spring training. We have to play him to see it. If the kid shows he can handle it and we had an injury at the position, why not? I want to see him in the spring. He played very well last summer, and he had a really good winter ball, and he's a good-looking young guy. If he's ready and somebody gets hurt, why not utilize hit talent? That's all I'm saying. He wouldn't be here as a backup at all."
In other words, if Theriot is healthy, Castro will start the season at Iowa. But if Theriot were to get hurt, Lou would have no qualms about throwing the kid in there. The exhibition games will tell a lot.
Ted Lilly has been out two days ill. He’s got a fever, but Lou says he expects to see him tomorrow.
Lou seems to like some new machine he called a “three-wheeler,” which throws sliders to the plate.
This gem will appear in tomorrow’s notebook, but it’s worth sharing here. It’s Lou talking about pitcher Carlos Silva, who looked a tad heavy coming into camp: "He's working hard. I'm going to tell you what. Silva is a hard worker, there's no question about it. He might be a hard eater. I'm only joking. But no, he comes out here and works hard, he really does. I'm very encouraged from what I see."