Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cashner named 5th starter... Silva on his way out...

- The Cubs named Andrew Cashner their 5th starter. I am so happy with management deciding to go with the person that earned his spot rather than the person with the most money on this contract.

- Jim Hendry told Silva they will try to trade him but asked him if the would report to AAA. Silva said there is no way he is going to AAA so if he refuses then he will be released and the Cubs will have to pay 11.5 million of this 2011 contract while the M's would pay this 2 million dollar buyout. They better hope they find a taker.

- Braden Looper announced his retirement.

- Casey Coleman and Jeff Stevens were sent to AAA Iowa.

- A surprise to me but Mateo made the big league club.

- The Cubs can make another good move by naming Castillo the backup to Soto and cut Hill.

Until Next Time...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cutting and Adding Time????

UPDATE- Fernando Perez was sent to AAA while Scott Moore, Augie Ojeda, Matt Camp, and Bobby Scales were sent to minor league camp. Darwin Barney has officially made the team.

- The Cubs made the third round of roster cuts Weds, when they sent Justin Berg and Scott Maine to AAA Iowa and put Todd Wellemeyer and Angel Guzman to minor league camp. The Cubs are expected to make another round of roster cuts on Thursday that is primarily focused on position players.

- Todd Wellemeyer is contemplating his future after yet another injury. It is likely he may hang it up if he has to go through another surgery.

- Quade should set his rotation after Sunday. Cashner, Looper, and Silva are still battling for the 5 spot in the rotation.

- Zambrano is looking like he maybe finally growing up, he asked to pitch in a minor league game against the AAA Dbacks team.

- Max Ramirez had a MRI on this left wrist but not information has come from that as of yet.

- James Russell looks like he makes the team as the third lefty in the pen.

- It seems Blake DeWitt is on the hot seat because he is now battling Scott Moore and Bobby Scales for the last spot on the bench.

- Silva had several scouts on hand to watch him pitch yesterday and he threw a gem. The Pirates, Nationals, Toronto, and Minnesota all were on hand to watch Carlos pitch. A rumor from last week stated the Pirates were interested in a Ryan Doumit for Carlos Silva trade but Jim has no place for Ryan on this team.

- I am now hearing the Nationals are interested in Silva and maybe offering Nyjer Morgan. Morgan has fallen out of favor with the Nationals who all but named Rick Ankiel there Centerfielder. The Nationals don’t like his “approach to the game” and “attitude he brings to the park” which could be why the want to trade him rather than sending him to AAA. The money on this deal is not close with Silva owed 5 million this season and a 12 million dollar option for 2012 that includes a 2 million dollar buyout. Morgan is owed under 750K. The Cubs would likely have to eat half the contract to get the deal done. If deal happens then it give the 5th spot in the rotation to Cashner or Looper. The Cubs would then have two options 1. Keep the speedy outfielder on the 25 man roster and cut ties with Reed Johnson or 2. Send Morgan to the minors in case an injury occurs to one of the outfielders on the roster. The most likely option is #2 and Morgan would be a better insurance plan than the struggling Perez. This is a potential good deal for both teams that have players that need a change of scenery.

Until Next Time…

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Latest....

- Mike Quade, Randy Bush, and Jim Hendry had a conversation today regarding everyone’s role on the club. The main topics up for debate were the backup catcher's job, backup infielder, second base, two spots in the pen, and the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. Quade says they are looking at “every role, every possibility.”

- According to several media outlets Quade already had “some healthy disagreements with Hendry, Bush, and others about the roster. No one is going into details but I have to think it involves Silva and Castillo making the team or not.

- The Cubs management is struggling with the decision to keep Castillo in Chicago as Soto’s backup or get him playing everyday in Iowa.

- Blake DeWitt maybe played himself out of a starting job with Baker and Barney doing better at the plate and in the field. Quade says DeWitt is on this 25 man roster “for now.”

- Randy Wells is a lock for the 4th spot in the rotation. Cashner did not do well in the rain shorten game yesterday so the 5th spot in the rotation is still “up in the air.”

- The Cubs will go with either Russell or Maine as their 3rd lefty in the pen.

- Reed Johnson seems like a lock for the 5th outfielder spot on the team which means Perez will be sent to Iowa since he has one option left.

- Darwin Barney is a lock to make the roster unless Hendry claims a veteran infielder off the waiver wire. Castillo recently signed with the Phillies so he is not an option.

- Guzman will throw BP on Weds. and if things go well he will pitch in a rookie league game.

- The Cubs have several options with Silva according to Levine. Include money and trade him, put him in the bullpen until they can trade him, have an “injury” land him on the DL, or release him. Levine says releasing is a last resort.

- Quade does not like the idea of Silva in the pen. Silva is not too keen on that idea as well.

- Keith Moreland said Welington Castillo is pushing Koyie Hill for the backup catching spot. It is hard not to give the kid the job with the way he is playing this spring.

- Hendry said on The Score that he has never seen Wood pitch as well as he has this spring.

Until Next Time…

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cubs Notes...

- The Sun-Times is reporting that Reed Johnson and Darwin Barney are pulling away in the race for the last two bench spots.

- Levine said we could find out he has the last two rotation spots by Monday or Tuesday of next week. Levine feels Wells and Cashner are locks for the remaining two spots and I agree.

- The Sun-Times is reporting that is Wells is a lock then the final two spots could come down to Cashner, Looper, and Silva. If Looper does not get the spot the Cubs may use him as a long man or emergency starter.

- Levine says Grabow and Shark are locks to make the team. He also says Maine and Russell could join Marmol, Wood, and Marshall in the pen. I think Russell will be a starter in Iowa.

- Levine says Silva might end up in the pen if he does not make the rotation or is traded. I think he will either be traded or put on the DL to start the year.

- It could be March 30th before we know the 25 man roster.

- Hendry has not spoken to the Rangers since the Winter Meetings according to Levine. The Cubs were interested in Chris Davis but the Rangers wanted players that were included in the Garza deal.

- Levine maybe wrong on the line above because I have a pretty good source that stated the Cubs and Rangers discussed Michael Young earlier this month.

- Barney will be an utility infielder for the Cubs, Ojeda does not look like he will make the team with all his injury woes.

- If Cashner does not make the rotation he will be in the pen. Cashner will not start in AAA.

- Bobby Scales is the Cubs infield backup in AAA. He will not make the team out of ST.

- Luis Castillo was released today; the Cubs have mild interest in signing him to a minor league deal.

- Castro could be the leadoff man later on this season.

Here is my 25 man roster as of today-

1. Dempster
2. Zambrano
3. Garza
4. Wells
5. Cashner
6. Baker
7. Barney
8. Castro
9. DeWitt
10. Pena
11. Ramirez
12. Hill
13. Soto
14. Byrd
15. Colvin
16. Fukudome
17. Johnson
18. Soriano
Relief Pitchers-
19. Marmol
20. Wood
21. Grabow
22. Samardzija
23. Marshall
24. Maine
25. Looper

This makes the most sense for the Cubs. I also think this maybe only time I have seen two non-roster invitees like Looper and Johnson both make the team. I also want to note that I do not see Silva on the 25 man roster whether it is a DL stint, released, or traded. He does not belong on the Cubs.

Until Next Time…