The Cubs have a couple of things going these days, less than a week after the convention (a.k.a. Tony Campana Fest) ended. They reportedly have agreed with outfielder Scott Hairston on a two-year contract, and they’ve also announced their spring-training broadcast schedule, which features one Cubs game being available every game day.
First things first. The Cubs aren’t commenting on Hairston because a physical exam is pending, but it looks like they’ve found a right-handed hitting platoon partner for Nate Schierholtz in right field. David DeJesus will play center.
Hairston is the brother of former Cub Jerry Hairston Jr. and the son of former White Sox pinch hitter Jerry Hairston. He is the grandson of former White Sox Sam Hairston.
Scott Hairston turns 33 on May 25. Last year with the Mets, in 134 games, he had a line of .263/.299/.504 for an OPS of 803. He had 20 homers and 57 RBI to go along with 19 walks and 83 strikeouts in 398 plate appearances.
For his career, the line is .247/.302/.449 for an OPS of .751. He has batted .276 against left-handed pitching and .229 against righties. In addition to the Mets, he has played for Arizona, San Diego and Oakland.
The Cubs are facing a roster crunch on the 40-man. They’ve yet to announce the signing of pitcher Carlos Villanueva. When both Hairston and Villanueva get done, the Cubs will have to drop two from the 40-man. There are still plenty of candidates the Cubs can cut and hope to outright to Class AAA Iowa. Outfielders Campana and Dave Sappelt have to be feeling the heat. Also possibly on the bubble are catcher Steve Clevenger and pitchers Brooks Raley, Chris Rusin and Hector Rondon.
As for the games in spring training, they’ll be available again in a mix of radio, TV and Internet at cubs.com. Thirty-six of the 39 games will be available (the Cubs play more than one game on some days).
The Cubs have added some games to the spring schedule. They will play gainst a World Baseball Classic opponent at HoHoKam Stadium on Friday, March 15. The Cubs will also play the Los Angeles Dodgers in Tucson on March 21. They’ll close out their 2013 spring schedule with a pair of games in Houston against their former NL foes, the Astros, March 29-30.
The spring schedule features six TV games, four on WGN and two on Comcast SportsNet, nine on the WGN Cubs radio network and 25 via internet radio. Fans will be able to access the Cubs webcasts on Cubs.com and MLB.com for free by registering for a log-in account with the website.
WGN radio will broadcast the first game of the spring on Saturday, February 23 against the Angels. The first televised spring game, featuring the debut of new commentator Jim Deshaies, will be Saturday, March 16, when the Cubs host Kansas City on WGN. Comcast SportsNet’s first game will be Monday, March 25 vs. San Francisco.
Cubs TV play-by-play announcer Len Kasper will again join Mick Gillispie, radio broadcaster for the Cubs’ Class AA Tennessee affiliate, for most of the cubs.com internet radio broadcasts. The first cubs.com game with will take place on Sunday, February 24 vs. San Francisco in Mesa.