As well all know, pitchers and catchers reported last Sunday. Today, all position players were expected to show up to camp. But many of the players have been in camp for a week now. Here’s my weekly news and notes:
*General Manager Jed Hoyer was on Talkin’ Baseball and he did say the Cubs did express interest in OF Michael Bourn. He said there was conversations with his agent Scott Boras, but it didn’t get too far along in the process. The Cubs did not want to part with their 2nd round pick for Bourn and that had a lot to do with it. Bourn eventually signed a 4-year deal with the Cleveland Indians worth 48 million last week.
*Jorge Soler is at camp for the 1st time and has impressed the Cubs already on the 1st day. Sveum said he reminds me or a right-handed Cliff Floyd. Soler is expected to start the season for High A Daytona.
*Brett Jackson has improved his swing and looks to be fast through the strike zone. Jackson says he doesn’t want to go back to Iowa, but he will even with a strong spring training. I say he’s a June call-up.
*Sveum said Scott Feldman will be the 4th starter in the rotation. He was promised that he will start when he signed the contract and it’s official now. Even though it was quite obvious he was going to start.
*Travis Wood has the inside track to the 5th spot in the starting rotation. Especially since he’s a left-handed pitcher and the Cubs 4 other starters are right-handed.
*With that said, it looks like Scott Baker will start the season on the 15-day DL as he’s still recovering from Tommy John Surgery. The Cubs are going to “baby” him and not rush him back.
*Matt Garza has looked good thus far and the ball is coming out of his hands well. If he keeps that up, who knows, he may be traded. (Still predicting the Texas Rangers).
*Brett Lillibridge is expected to make the team out of spring training as the utility guy and the back-up to Anthony Rizzo. He will have to be added to the 40-man roster and I expect the corresponding move to be placing SP Arodys Vizcaino on the 60-day DL. He’s also recovering from Tommy John Surgery. (Barring no trades)
*SP Jeff Samardzija did not sign an extension with the Cubs in the off-season because he thinks it’s better for him and the team that they wait another year. The Cubs were working on a 5-year extension with Samardzija.
Side note: The Los Angeles closer Ryan Madson had a set-back on his arm and isn’t throwing yet. Hey, LA meet Carlos Marmol ONCE again!
We have not heard the latest on Tony Campana, but we should hear something within the next week.