I need to write about the trip, still, but this is quicker and those photos are someplace else.
Locks That We Knew Going Into Camp and I Really Can Stop Mentioning,
01 SS Theriot
02 RF The Fuk
03 1B D Lee
04 3B A Ram
05 CF Byrd
06 LF Soriano
07 CA Soto
08 2B Fontenot
09 SP Dempster
10 SP Z
11 SP Wells – not that you would’ve known it today.
12 CL Marmol
13 RP Grabow
14 ?P Marshall – the position is another argument…
15 ?P Gorz – …and no one seems to have the first clue…
16 ?P Silva – …on even who’s leading here…
17 CA Hill
18 2B Baker
And I think that’s it, at least coming in. There’s three more who had/have hopes of being included
possible opening day Disabled List!
DL SP Ted Lilly – this one keeps bouncing back and forth like a metronome. Even best case, it makes since for him to start on the DL and get the extra warmup starts, since they may only need four starters anyway.
19 PH Xavier Nady – I don’t like the idea of an OF who can’t throw until June; doesn’t really work at most any position, but since the idea here was to platoon him with Fukudome, that’s not very helpful. I’d start him on the DL until he can at least do something, but Lou brushed off that idea.
DL RP Angel Guzman – :( At least he got one good season. I’ll be shocked to ever see him pitch in the ML again.
Up four grabs
That still leaves 6 spots, and four of those are in the bullpen. One of those jobs is already accounted for:
20 RP Esmalin Caridad – already know how this one plays out. He’s got a live arm, so Lou will be thrilled to give him a shot. He’s got a walking problem, so Lou will bury him deep in the pen. This is your anointed setup man!
I’ll get back to pitching in a couple spots, but the bench is easier to finish out
21 OF (who can back up all three) – this was clearly supposed to be Sam Fuld coming into the season, but he might have had it snaked from him. Tyler Colvin does not have the positionally flexibility (he’s really more of a corner guy) but has been killing the ball and has that 1st round draft pick tag. James Adduci has hit a little less, but still really good and offers more defense. Colvin’s thought of a prospect (though I doubt he’ll be much more than he is at this point), but Adduci isn’t really and it’s not as though the Cubs would be risking a great upside by having him sit on the bench 6 days out of 7. No idea how this is turning out.
22 ?? – This spot is supposed to be backup shortstop, which means it’d be Andres Blanco, but he’s been hurt a week. It was never going to be Starlin Castro…but now it seems like it actually may be some other position entirely.
Bringing in Chad Tracy and Kevin Millar on NRIs never made much since, because there really wasn’t going to be a spot for them on the 25. That math changes if Fontenot can actually play a little SS – there’s no need for the fourth guy, and there’s room for an extra 1B/3B type. (As I’ve pointed out too many times, this is why they shouldn’t have bothered to keep Fontenot, but he’s hitting good so I should lay off.) If this spot exists, it looks like it’s Millar over Tracy, with Hoffpauir and LeHair trailing far behind. I don’t know that any of them will actually hit when the calendar turns to April, but the bench could use one more hitter so it’s worth trying.
The thing is, Fontenot has played all of four innings of SS. Maybe he’s been putting in a lot of work on the back fields, or maybe that was enough for Lou, but I’m not so convinced this plan is actually happening.
And all of that was easier than the last three bullpen spots.
23 + 24 + 25 RP (or maybe starter?)
Gorz and Marshall probably won’t make the rotation, or at least won’t be there for long, so there’s no specific need for a LHP over a RHP. Past that? Who knows. Everyone left who’s pitched, minus those not on the 40 man roster, and those cut already
- RHP M Parisi – Rule 5 pick, seemed to be here as a starter not at all (and definitely won’t be hid like Patton last year); has been good in short stints
- RHP J Samardzija – coming in, the idea seemed to be start in ML or AAA with no chance of bullpen; does Guzman’s injury change that? Has been hit hard and not looked good.
- LHP J Gaub – on the fringe of the bullpen coming in, has pitched good
- RHP M Mateo – not this year and lit up
- RHP J Stevens – probably had a spot at the start, but has been hit hard, who knows
- RHP J Berg – like Guab, but with a win and a save
- RHP B Parker – not this year and lit up
- RHP B Schlitter – not the year and OK
If you based it on just Spring Training, which is both dumb and what will probably happen, it’s clearly Parisi, Guab and Berg as the last three, with Stevens and Samardzija on the perphiary. But there’s still plenty of innings to change things.