Here are some notes for today-
- Z and Dempster will sit out the first week because Lou does not want to rush them.
- The Cubs will not make any early cuts or decisions on players with a lot of games ahead.
- Starters will get 27-28 innings during ST, just like last year.
- Fukudome is batting well for Japan. He hit a Grand Slam in a exhibition game.
- Nomar is getting in heated talks with the A's. If he goes off the board then the Cubs will have to go the trade route or wait for a player to be released to fill as a backup to 3rd and 1st.
- Marshall will start the second game of the season while Lilly will start the third according to Lou.
- It is said that the Cubs are looking at a player( who is a righty) that can backup 3b, 1st, and maybe middle infield either in house or on other teams. Here are my players I think the Cubs should watch in Spring Training because they could be released, sent down, or traded before the season starts. Much like what happened to Reed Johnson.
Robb Quinlan- This guy could provide a right handed bat off the bench that would fill in well defensively and offensively. A career .285 hitter and have had played OF as well as 1st and 3rd through out his soon to be 6 season make him a good target for the Cubs. Not to mention he is only 32 years old. He is currently 4th on the 3rd base depth chart of the Angels and the primary backup to 1st, but with the Angels crowded outfield he may be released or traded.
Morgan Ensberg- Signed a minor league contract with the Rays but may not make the team since he is an invite and be released. Ensberg use to have tremendous power and could be a nice pick up. He can play both corner spot pretty well. Not my one of my top choices but definitely one to look at.
Ronnie Belliard- One of my top picks. He can play all over the infield, some positions better than other but makes up for it with his bat. He is a lifetime .275 hitter with a .340 OBP. He will hit about 5-12 homeruns in part time duty and only cost 1.9 million for this season. The Nats might not find a spot on the team for him this year with all the infielders and outfielders they have.
One guy that they could consider even if he is a lefty is Doug Mientkiewicz. He a career .271 hitter with a .360 OBP, all while playing great defense at 1st base and decent defense at 3b. He could be given a minor league contract and invite him to Spring Training.
I just think that the Cubs need another backup infielder. They cannot go into the season with Miles and Fonty backing up third while Hoffpauir backs up first and the corner spots in the outfield. They just need to send Hoffpauir to AAA, get a guy that can play 1st and 3b, and keep the outfield to 5 players( Soriano, Fukudome, Johnson, Bradley, and Gathright). Logically how can you go into the season with only one backup infielder and a guy that basically just backs up 1st. You just can't!
That is it for now, more to come!