Spring Training Quick Hits


All in all it was a quiet day today around Cubs camp, as the team gets ready for their first cactus league game on Thursday. Nonetheless, here is the latest from Arizona.

Speaking of their cactus league opener on Thursday, Lou Piniella announced the starting lineup for that game.

SS Ryan Theriot

RF Kosuke Fukudome

1B Derrek Lee

3B Aramis Ramirez

CF Marlon Byrd

LF Tyler Colvin

2B Mike Fontenot

C Geovany Soto

Even though it was expected that hyped shortstop Starlin Castro would get the start and leadoff, he still figures to get a lot of playing time in that game, as the Cubs are very anxious to see how he does.

The plan for Castro is for him to get as much work as possible in during spring training, and then start the year in AAA, but be ready to be called up in case of an injury.

According to sources close to the Cubs thinking, the Cubs no longer have interest in any free agent reliever. If you recall about a month ago they had interest in Kiko Calero, but their interest was later downplayed over concerns of his health and contract demands.

When talking about the bullpen, Lou Piniella hinted that if 2008 first round pick Andrew Cashner has a lights out spring, he could be in consideration for a bullpen spot. However, it seems that general manager Jim Hendry would rather have Cashner groomed to be a starter, and start the year as a starter in AAA.

If the season were to start today, I would imagine that the Cubs bullpen look something like this, Carlos Marmol as the closer, John Grabow and Esmailin Caridad as the setup guys, Jeff Gray and Angel Guzman as the middle relivers, and the two long relievers being the two guys that did not make the rotation in Carlos Silva, Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall, or Tom Gorzelanny.