Some notes as we come to the end of ST-
- The Cubs have signed Shawn Camp to a Minor League deal which was linked to the release of lefty Trever Miller. Camp will have a week to prove he is worthy of a spot in the pen which is pretty much up for grabs except for Wood, Russell, and Marmol (maybe Dolis as well).
- Sveum says the Cubs will be better on defense this year which is not saying too much.
- Ryan Dempster is the Opening Day starter if you did not already know that.
- Gordon Wittenmyer is echoing what we said Sunday (found here) that the trade market is heating up for Marlon Byrd. Even going as far as labeling the Braves and Nationals which the former was discussed Sunday here and the latter in the past few months.
- Jon Heyman tweeted today that the Nats are one of several teams that have kicked the tires on Marlon Byrd who could be had at the right price. He also says CF’s are really valuable right now.
- I am hearing from my sources that there is a “better than 50%” chance Byrd gets traded. I am also hearing Sappelt or Campana would get Byrd’s spot not BJax because they do not want to start his ML clock yet.
- The Cubs tried to trade Soriano all year but were unsuccessful which is why they have turned their attention to Marlon Byrd.
- Another thing that a reader posed to me is this idea (if Byrd is traded) which I find interesting is that since Rizzo’s clock has already started he would be called up instead of another OF. This reader says Rizzo would take over at 1st, LaHair would move to RF, and DeJesus would move to CF. Now Sveum wants better defense which decreased in this scenario but it does increase the offense. Interesting idea to say the least.
- Sveum is getting praise for his camp.
- Bleacher Nation talks about Nyjer Morgan loving cats.
- The Cubs brass will meet with the coaches after today’s game to make the final roster decisions. The big spots up for grabs are the number 3 & 4 starters, 2 bench spots, most of the bullpen, and back-up catcher.
- I think the Cubs will pick Volstad and Shark for the 3&4 starters, bench spots will go to Mather and DeWitt, bullpen will go Castillo, Dolis, Wells, and Maine; and the backup catcher will go to Clevenger.
- To counter what I said about the pen some sources believe Russell will be the only lefty in the pen.
- Cubs Den has a nice piece on the Cubs top 5 post 1980 teams.
- The Tribune has an article on the Cubs found here.
Here is the latest from Mr. Bruce Levine-
- Levine says Tony Campana will head to Iowa.
- Levine says Byrd will NOT be moved because of the Cubs lack of depth in the OF. SERIOUSLY! I think the Cubs have plenty of depth in the outfield with young players ready to produce if they are giving the chance.
- He says Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo will be in the starting lineup sometime this season.
- Bruce says a lot of teams have called on Wells which HSC has reported as well.
- Levine does not deny the interest from the Angels about Garza and the Braves/Nationals about Byrd which once again we broke on HSC.
- He believes Sappelt is a security blanket for the Cubs OF.
- He thinks Szczur will be in Double A most of the season and will not be called up this year. I would not be so quick to say that.
- Levine feels Stewart will do the best in the 5th or 6th hole in the lineup.
- Levine says Soto will be the biggest surprise this year and put up similar numbers when he won the Rookie of the Year in 2008. I hope he is right because that would be valuable trade bait.
- Cubs are concerned about Dolis delivery which could lead to an injury according to Levine.
- Bruce thinks Manny Corpas has a good shot to make the pen and I can definitely see that.
Until Next Time…