Silva says he has a job (TRADE UPDATE)
Tyler Colvin gets in some work
at first base on Tuesday in Mesa, Ariz.
MESA, Ariz. _ Interesting, if quieter, day around the compound today. [UPDATE: The Cubs this afternoon picked up righty reliever Robert Coello from Boston for minor-league infielder Tony Thomas. Coello, who made his big-league debut last September and pitched in 6 games, is on the Cubs' 40-man roster, which stands at 39.] While Cubs manager Mike Quade says “everybody’s got something to prove,” Carlos Silva says he’s got nothing to prove and that there is one, not two, spots opening in the rotation. In other words, he’s got a job. We’ll flesh out the Nos. 4 and 5 spots in the rotation for the paper tomorrow and online later today. Suffice it to say, things could get interesting.
“For them, it’s open, and for whoever is competing,” Silva said of the 4 and 5 spots. “For me, there’s maybe one spot open because I am one of the starters.”
Q did say veterans such as Wells and Silva and Wells get some benefit because he knows what to expect of them.
--Tyler Colvin took grounders and first today (that's Tyler in the photo taken by yours truly) and reported things went well. Q says Colvin will get a good look at first this spring, as will Jeff Baker, simply because they’ll need a backup for Carlos Pena.
--I talked a bit with John Grabow today. The forgotten lefty says his left knee is 100 percent and that he’s eager to prove he’s a solid reliever again.
--Speaking of lefties, Q says it’s not out of the question that the Cubs could carry three or even four left-handed relievers if they open with an all-right-handed rotation, which is likely.
--Brett Jackson is in the house. The No. 1 pick from 2009 praised Tyler Colvin for making the team out of spring training last year. It will be hard for Jackson to do that, but he can leave a lasting impression.
"Colvin's a good role model for all minor-leaguers as it is, the way he attacked his work ethic and really made his strides getting to the big leagues and making an impact in the big leagues,” Brett said. “Colvin is a good example for us all. Obviously, that's the dream, to come out to spring training, tear it up and that invite. Right now, I'm just focused on improving myself in the time I have before the season starts and enjoying myself here in Arizona."
How will Brett approach things?
"I've just got to get goofy and have a good time," he said. "We'll see. Last year was fun. It's really easy to adapt here, a lot of guys who are willing to take you in and make you feel part of it. From last year's experience, the nerves are a little less, but they're certainly still there."
--Nonroster man Braden Looper, who lives in the south suburbs, said there is a great trust factor between him and the Cubs. It’s likely Looper will either make the team or go home. He’d like to start, but he said he’d pitch in long relief for the Cubs.
"Those are definitely roads I'll have to cross,” Braden said. “I prefer starting, without a doubt. The best way I can put it is this is the one team I would consider anything. We'll just come to those bridges when we come to them."
Looper sat out last year after failing to get an offer to his liking. He took care of this three kids, coaching Little League and the like. We’ll have more on him and some of the other nonroster guys as spring training rolls along.
--On the trade, Coello is 6-foot-5, 250 pounds and is a converted catcher. He led the Red Sox farm system with 130 strikeouts last year. He gave up 3 runs, all in his first appearance, and 4 hits in 5.2 innings. The Cubs will use him as bullpen insurance. He has a minor-league option left. Thomas was a Cubs third-round draft pick in 2007. He batted .276 with 11 homers at Class AA Tennessee last year.