Heading back to Mesa tomorrow for what figures to be a busy and interesting day. First, Carlos Silva gets another shot at starting. He goes in the big-league game against the A’s, with Big Z working in a minor-league game.
The Cubs brass met today to go over possible roster decisions before the afternoon’s game against the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. On Silva, manager Mike Quade told the media: "I never count anybody out. I'm anxious to see him pitch. Still some tough decisions. Productive discussions today. Nothing definitive. I have a lot to sleep on, or not sleep on tonight, regarding the pitching and other areas, too."
Q said he wanted to sleep on some of the upcoming roster decisions as the Cubs have to get from 40 (actually 39, with Angel Guzman rehabbing) to 25 in just over a week.
Randy Wells and his 1.35 spring ERA should have the No. 4 spot in the rotation locked up, but no official announcements have been made. Here are the spring records, with ERA and WHIPs for the contenders for the rotation:
Wells: 1-1, 1.35 ERA and 0.70 WHIP
Silva: 0-2, 15.88 ERA and 2.74 WHIP
Braden Looper: 1-0, 10.97 ERA and 1.78 WHIP
Andrew Cashner: 1-1, 3.97 ERA and 1.59 WHIP
With the New York Mets having released Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez and eating their contracts, you have to wonder if the Cubs wouldn’t do the same thing with Silva.
In other areas, third baseman Aramis Ramirez returned to camp today after being sick with a high fever. He reportedly took batting practice today and may play tomorrow.
Augie Ojeda was said to have taken a cortisone shot for his back spasms. Ojeda is a nonroster man, and he appears to be well behind Darwin Barney, who may be looking to steal a starting job at second base.
As far as the backup catcher goes, and it’s gotten a lot of discussion here, the Cubs will have to decide whether they want Welington Castillo getting regular at-bats in Iowa or sitting on the bench with the big club. Heading into today, here are the stats of the backup catchers:
Castillo: .706/.737/.941 on 12-for-17 hitting with a homer and 6 RBI
Koyie Hill: .037/.071/.074 on 1-for-27 hitting with no homers and no RBI
Max Ramirez: .294/.381/.529 on 5-for-17 hitting with 1 homer and 9 RBI
Lots more to come over the coming week including a cool feature story or two for the paper and online.