Well, spring-training mornings around Fitch Park should be fun as Carlos Zambrano walks through the clubhouse and yells, "Shoulders!" about 10 times every day. "Shoulders" was Big Z's nickname for pitcher Todd Wellemeyer, whom the Cubs are in the process of signing to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.
One report had Wellemeyer getting $800,000. The Cubs aren't confirming that, and he'll likely get the 800 Gs only if he makes the team.
It's also turning out to be a reunion of Jim Hendry's 2000 draft class, given the recent signing of Lou (not Luis) Montanez to a minor-league deal. Montanez was the Cubs' first-round pick that year. Welly went in the fourth round. Other draft picks that year include: Bobby Hill, Aaron Krawiec, Nic Jackson, Dontrelle Willis (yes, that Dontrelle Willis), Jon Leicester, Jason Dubois, Buck Coats, Carmen Pignatiello and Jason Szuminski.
Last year in 13 games for the Giants, Wellemeyer went 3-5 with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. In 2008 with the Cardinals, he was 13-8 with a 3.71 ERA and a WHIP of 1.25.
Welly pitched for the Cubs from 2003-05. They traded him to the Marlins at the end of spring training in 2006 for Lincoln Holdzkom and Zach McCormack. It was tough for Welly to leave the Cubs, as he got a bit emotional when we talked to him in a conference room outside the manager's office at HoHoKam Park.
It'll be an interesting and fun group of non-roster invitees: Scott Moore (another guy on his second tour of duty with the Cubs after originally coming from the Tigers along with Bo Flowers and Roberto Novoa for Kyle Farnsworth in Feb. 2005); Reed Johnson (ditto that on the second tour of duty); Bobby Scales; Angel Guzman and Bryan LaHair.
Has anyone seen Les Walrond?