The theme for the first three Spring Training games has been the same for all of the games that took place last season, and that is that the Cubs still are defensively challenged. In their first three spring games the Cubs have committed 9 errors. Cubs manager Mike Quade feels it is too early to judge the team’s defense, but noted that it needs to be cleaned up before the season starts. Here is a look at what else is making news for the Cubs in Mesa, Arizona.
- Fernando Perez is currently sidelined with a bruised left shoulder that he sustained on a diving catch in Monday’s game. While Perez is listed as day-to-day, it is never a good thing to miss time in Spring Training. Especially for Perez, who is in the middle of a competition with Reed Johnson for a spot on the 25 man roster. Perez is no stranger to injuries, as his left wrist needed surgery in March of 2009. It has been noted here that Fernando Perez is out of options, that actually is not the case. Perez still has a minor league option left in his contract, which is one of the biggest reasons why the Cubs swapped Fuld for Perez in the Matt Garza trade. Assuming Perez returns to the lineup relatively soon, he should still be right in the thick of things as far as battling for a roster spot. If Perez shows that he can hit this Spring, then he likely will make the 25 man roster. If not, Perez will start the season at Triple A- Iowa.
- Cubs manager Mike Quade had a long talk with shortstop Starlin Castro this morning regarding Castro’s approach on defense. Quade stressed to Castro that he needs to take a more intense approach on defense during practice to simulate “in-game” situations. Castro will not be 21 until March 24, and still is learning the nuances of playing shortstop at a major league level. There still will be growing pains with Castro on defense this season, but as he gains more experience he should become a better defender.
- Hall of Fame Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman gave his annual anti-cubs address to Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune. Brennaman feels that the Cubs on paper do not have enough to contend all season with the Reds or Brewers, unless the Cubs have “two or three” guys that have career years. This is the same Marty Brennaman that in April of 2008 said the Cubs would not win the division that year saying “they are still the Chicago Cubs, and they will figure out a way to screw this whole thing up.” The funny thing about Brennaman’s latest Cubs’ rant is that you can easily argue that the Reds won the division last season off of “two or three guys” having career years.