Spring Training Notebook- 3/05/11


Between the scuffle in the Cubs dugout between Carlos Silva and Aramis Ramirez, and the defensive mistakes that happened this week; it sure has been an interesting week for the Cubs in Arizona. Lets take at look at what else is making news as the Cubs conclude their first week of games with a pair of games this weekend.

  • Carlos Silva Speaks

After refusing to say anything about what happened in the dugout on Wednesday, Carlos Silva finally gave his side of the story of his scuffle with Aramis Ramirez. While Silva admitted that it was all his fault, he also noted that he has yet to talk to Ramirez himself. Silva hinted that the pressures of fighting for a starting job, may have been what caused him to criticize his team’s play when he returned to the dugout.

The case of Carlos Silva is certainly an interesting one. Since this blowup, I have heard mostly every Cubs fan say that the Cubs need to simply get rid of Silva. As Luke and I have been saying for most of the off-season, it is highly unlikely that the Cubs will be able to trade or release Silva right now. While there was scouts at Silva’s first spring start, after the performance from Silva, interested teams will still have to see more of him. I would not expect Silva’s trade market to pickup until a month or two into the season. The Cubs are not going to release Silva right now either, considering that he will be making $11.5 million this season.

Silva remains in competition for one of the final two spots in the Cubs’ rotation.

  • Matt Garza Struck By Line Drive

During yesterday’s game, Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza threw two shutout innings. However, Garza was suppose to throw a third inning but manager Mike Quade pulled him due precautionary reasons. During his second inning on the mound, Garza was struck in the ribs by a line drive off the bat of Billy Butler. No need to worry though, as Garza told reporters he was fine. In fact after he was pulled from the game, Garza went down to the bullpen to complete his scheduled pitch count for the day.

  • Tyler Colvin Impresses at First Base

Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin started his first ever professional game at first base yesterday. Colvin played five stellar innings of defense at first base, all while going 3 for 3 with a double, a home run, and three RBI’s.

If Colvin continues to play well for the Cubs during his limited time at first base this season, this could add some intrigue to the Cubs off-season next winter. As of now, all the talk has been about how the Cubs are planning to pursue either Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder. Call me crazy, but what if the Cubs bypassed Pujols and Fielder and went with Tyler Colvin at first base. Obviously it depends on how Colvin produces this season, but if he plays well during his time at first base backing up Carlos Pena, I’m sure it will be something that general manager Jim Hendry takes into consideration.

  • Kosuke Fukudome to Remain in the Leadoff Spot

According to Bruce Levine, it would appear that manager Mike Quade would like for Kosuke Fukudome to be the leadoff hitter, at least against right handed pitchers. It is looking more and more likely that Mike Quade will run a platoon in right field between Tyler Colvin and Kosuke Fukudome. With Fukudome getting the starts against right handers, and Colvin against left handers. I still would expect Colvin to get his fair share of at bats, as he probably will see time in the two corner outfield spots as well as at first base.