Even though many would argue that it is only Spring Training, I think that there is reason to be optimistic if you are a Cubs fan. With Mike Quade providing a different tune, and the likes of Kerry Wood, Carlos Pena, and Ryan Dempster becoming leaders of the team the Cubs may be in a for a better season than most expected. Nonetheless, here is the latest from Mesa.
- Carrie Muskat wrote in her Cubs Notebook yesterday that Todd Wellemyer has a chance to make the team as a starting pitcher or a relief pitcher. Muskat notes that if Wellemyer is on the team, he would more than likely be a reliever. But, I think whether or not Wellemyer makes the team depends on how the rest of the rotation shakes out. For instance lets say that Carlos Silva and Randy Wells make the rotation. Then, Andrew Cashner will be moved back into the rotation; Braden Looper would be released; and Casey Coleman and James Russell would be starters in Iowa. With Cashner in the bullpen, the Cubs may not have room for Wellemyer as reliever. However, for his career, Wellemyer usually does not transition well into to the bullpen. In 204 innings in relief, Wellemyer has an ERA of 5.21. If anything, Wellemyer may be considered as a long reliever if he makes the team.
- Hitting Coach Rudy Jaramillo touched on a variety of topics with Waddle & Silvy of ESPN Radio 100. The focal point of the interview, was Jaramillo’s work with Alfonso Soriano. Jaramillo stressed that it is on Soriano to improve his numbers, but added that he has put Soriano in the right direction. However, I fail to see how a 35 year old outfielder can be pointed in the right direction. If anything the past two seasons would be reason enough to say that Soriano is headed in the wrong direction. Granted he could have been dealing with injuries, but Soriano at times has looked non-existent on offense in the past two seasons.
- Dusty Baker is still mad at the way he was treated by the Chicago fans, during his time as Cubs manager. Baker feels he was unjustly criticized in 2005 and 2006, considering he felt the Cubs did not have the talent to compete in each of those seasons. Which may have some truth to it, as Aramis Ramirez suffered an injury in 2005, as did Derrek Lee in 2006. But, Baker needs to realize that, that is not the reason why the fans turned on him. It was the fact that Baker never wanted to be held accountable for his actions. Hiding behind his son during press conferences after playoff losses, and always putting the blame on the fans. Sure Dusty Baker welcomes the success, but where is he when things start to fail?