24 days remaining, before the Cubs go to Atlanta for opening day and start the 2010 season. And for the most part the Cubs 25 man roster is basically set, with exception of a fifth outfielder, a right handed reliever, and backup shortstop.
As far as the Fifth outfielder’s race, Sam Fuld appears to be the front runner in a group that consists of Tyler Colvin, Brad Snyder, and James Adduci, who is a favorite of Lou Piniella’s.
Sam Fuld, appears to be the favorite in large part due to his speed and defensive abilities. And with their being question over how well Xavier Nady is going to be able to perform in the outfield, Fuld appears to be a logical choice.
Tyler Colvin, though is making it very hard for the Cubs not to put him on the 25 man roster. He has looked very good this spring especially on offense, showing a new found power. Colvin has a future in the Cubs outfield, and it is probably as a corner outfielder.
As for Brad Snyder, and James Adduci both have shown some good qualities this spring in hopes of making the team. For Snyder it has been on offense, and for Adduci, it his defensive ability, since he is able to play all three spots in the outfield. But, I expect that both begin the year in the minors.
It should go noted, that Lou Piniella did not count out putting two rookie outfielders on the 25 man roster, probably referring to Fuld, and Colvin.
In regards for the need of a right handed reliever, all indications point to Jim Hendry trading for one in the near future. Among the names that the Cubs are rumored to have interest in are Kerry Wood, Luke Gregerson, Jason Frasor, and Scott Downs.
Kerry Wood, would probably be the popular vote among Cubs fans, but unless the Indians are willing to eat most of his $10.5 million salary, don’t expect the Cubs to make a move for the Chicago favorite.
Luke Gregerson, in my eyes is a really promising option for the Cubs. Coming into his second year in the league, last year he fanned 93 batters in over 75 innings pitched, while posting an ERA of 3.24.
And as for the backup shortstop role, Mike Fontenot so far has looked inconsistent filling in at shortstop for the injured Andres Blanco, who should be back in action next week sometime.
A player to keep an eye on is shortstop Darwin Barney, whom Lou Piniella admitted has a chance to make the team as the backup shortstop. Barney has the same makeup of a Ryan Theriot, a hard worker, and a very “scrappy” hitter.