A League of Her Own

Monday Cubs Headlines: Whole Lotta Nuthin'






Mother Nature decided to ruin every Cub fan's plans to watch baseball yesterday by washing out both split squad games. So, as you might imagine, there's a dearth of information to provide. The first big story is that Starlin Castro won't be starting the year on the 25-man roster.

The natural question led straight to ''The Natural'' when Andres Blanco, the team's one true backup shortstop with big-league experience, got hurt:

Would the Cubs make phenom Starlin Castro the starting shortstop and move Ryan Theriot to second base?

''No, no,'' manager Lou Piniella insisted. ''I like the kid, I really do. But I'm happy with 'The Riot.'

''You guys [writers] are starting trouble already,'' he added with a laugh, ''and it's only four games into spring training.''

For now, Piniella said, the plan is for Castro to start the season at Class AAA Iowa and play every day. But Piniella reiterated his belief that if something happened to Theriot -- ''and we don't want that'' -- he could see plugging Castro into Theriot's spot if Castro keeps up his strong play.


And prepare for short white guys to be the backup options if Blanco doesn't head north with the Big League team.


Piniella said second baseman Mike Fontenot will get more time at shortstop. If Blanco isn't ready and Fontenot doesn't fit at shortstop, Darwin Barney would be next in line, Piniella said.

In case you're not familiar with Darwin Barney, Bruce Miles provided a description:

The Cubs already have a backup candidate in infielder Darwin Barney, who had a line of .317/.368/.401 last year at Tennessee (AA) before going .264/.304/.330 in 63 games at Iowa. The 24-year-old Barney is a 5-foot-10 scrapper in the mold of Ryan Theriot. He was a fourth-round draft pick of Tim Wilken out of Oregon State in 2007.

Mr. Miles also has the updated bullpen situation covered:

GM Jim Hendry is going to have to make a trade sooner of later. If you're keeping an eye on relievers in Cubs camp, you've got Esmailin Caridad, whom Lou says has made the team. From the system, Lou has already mused about Andrew Cashner breaking with the team in a bullpen role. Blake Parker had 22 saves and a WHIP of 1.24 at Iowa last year. James Russell pitched out of the pen last season, but he's a lefty. Mitch Atkins, the minor-pitcher of the year for the Cubs a couple years ago, had a tough go in Iowa last season. Jeff Gray is still ailing with a groin injury.

Justin Berg is a sinkerball pitcher who was 6-2 with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP at Iowa last year. Berg got into 11 games with the Cubs last year, going 0-0 with an 0.75 ERA with 1 walk in 12 innings. He figures to get a long look this spring.

The Cubs have Rule 5 pick Mike Parisi in camp as well as Marcos Mateo, who began last year with Daytona (A) before seeing bullpen and starting duty at Tennessee.


And we've all been itching to see Xavier Nady in a Cub uniform, but it'll be at least three more days.


Xavier Nady, rehabbing from his second Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, is still at least three days away from getting into a game.

"Obviously, I want to get at-bats but I don't want to take at-bats where I might be a little sore from throwing and have that in the back of my mind," Nady said Sunday. "I'd like to take my first at-bat when everything is on a positive side."

Nady had the second procedure done on his right elbow July 8. This spring, he's been working with pitching coach Larry Rothschild on his throwing mechanics.

"It's helped so far," Nady said. "I'm happy he's volunteered his time to help me out. It's a work in progress. I think I created a lot of bad habits when I went from the infield to the outfield. All of a sudden, I tried to throw it as hard as I could."

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53 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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Big morning in court, kids. I can use all the good luck you can send my way.

Ted Lilly Fan Club said:

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Good Luck, plead "Insanity" worked for us!

AndCounting said:

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Just remember, that whole court's out of order.

Doc said:

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If you stopped robbing convenience stores, you wouldn't have to be in court all the time.

JulieDiCaro said:

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You make that joke every time. You can't see me, but I'm holding my fingers in an "L" shape on my forehead.

Doc said:

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I get that quite a bit...I'm not sure why.

Doc said:

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I see from Twitter that you won your case today! I'll have to hire you when I screw up my marriage.

JulieDiCaro said:

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You're well on your way.

Doc said:

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Great.

Blah.

Teebob2000 said:

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>>''and we don't want that''

... Piniella said with a wink...

MillsChC said:

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You forgot the biggest news of the day.... Jimmy James is gonna be on 24 tonight!

JulieDiCaro said:

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um . . . What?

MillsChC said:

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I thought you were in the Cool Kids league... The Cool Kids would know what that meant.

gravedigger said:

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Dear god, someone please come kill me.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Not until you finish my website.

gravedigger said:

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this is unfair

plamorte said:

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Is Soriano's knee 100% yet?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Is there a game today?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Oh, I see that there is. 2:05 against the As.

Very well then.

Doc said:

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The brewers play the mariners on TV today. I kinda want to watch it to see if milton bradley plays. I'm not sure why.

JulieDiCaro said:

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channel?

Doc said:

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FSN Wisconsin...sorry...only on up here. LOL!

It is on MLB.tv if you forked over the $1,232,231.45 to get it this season.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I bet I DO get FSN Wisconsin. . . let's just see. . .

JulieDiCaro said:

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Would that be FSN?

Mwah-ah-ah-ah-aaaahhhh!

I'm going to update everyone on Milty's game.

MillsChC said:

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Don't ruin it!.. That game is gonna be tape-delayed on MLB Network later tonight.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Apparently, Jonah Hill is going to play Paul DePodesta in the movie version of "Moneyball."

Um.....?

Fail.

Doc said:

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Am I a dork for the fact that I know who Paul DePodesta is, but have no idea who Jonah Hill is?

JulieDiCaro said:

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the rotund fellow with curly hair from Superbad, Knocked Up, 40-Year Old Virgin, etc.

Doc said:

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oh...um...I don't get it. Is he going to lose weight for that role?

JulieDiCaro said:

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i guess they think Paul needs to look nerdier than he currently does.

Dmband said:

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Jesus our pitching scares the crap out of me...last year, we went into the season with almost no auxilary plans for significant injuries on the offensive side...this year it appears we are taking the same approach with pitching...Mr. Miles says the Cubs are going to have to make a trade..but come on, what kind of guy are you getting 3 weeks into spring training...I doubt many teams have conceeded the season just yet, which means we are stuck until at least late May or June to really get a big league ready reliever. Couple that with our starting pitching question marks (im still furious Lilly is starting the year on the DL, but I digress) and we could be in serious trouble here guys...the only plus is it appears very likely we will not need that 5th pitcher for the first few weeks of the year...

JulieDiCaro said:

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But we re-signed John Grabow!

Doc said:

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And we have Jeff Gray now.

With Guzman out...I think they are going to be forced to make a move.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I still don't know who Jeff Gray IS.

Doc said:

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I do believe that the Yankees have the worst announcers of any team in baseball. YES Network would be much better if they actually got people that didn't sound like the actors from Partridge Family.

Dmband said:

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Hahahahaha...Grabow and Gray...Im sorry...I retract my statement....

So again, Hendry will have little to no room for leverage if he does have to make a deal because the other side will know we are in DESPERATE need of a quality reliever...so we will most likely have to deal a decent prospect to land a stop gap of middle of the road bullpen pitcher.

Just no more Carlos Silva...PLEASE!

Doc said:

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You know...

Kerry Wood is available from Cleveland.

Just sayin'

JulieDiCaro said:

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you're not the first person I've heard say this today.

Doc said:

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I have no original ideas. Dammit.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Why is this coming up all of a sudden? Has Cleveland said they're looking to move him?

Doc said:

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Actually, they've been looking to move him for quite a while now. With most of the decent relievers taken off the free agent market, I'm assuming that Wood's name is becoming a more attractive option for a number of teams.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Make sure you tune in to CN Radio on Saturday (9:00-1:00 am WGN) to listen to this week's host: Alex Quigley!

Doc said:

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no podcast today?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Now that FB season is over, we're moving the podcast to Friday's at 1:00.

Doc said:

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oh...sure...now my schedule is all screwed up.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Uh . . . so I guess I could put up a game thread, even though there's no video OR audio of this game.

Dmband said:

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Doc-

Yes. Just tell Cleveland they are responsible for 9 of the 10 million and we have a deal!!! I do miss Kerry...I would run into him from time to time (I worked right down the street from his house which was awesome by the way)...guy was seriously a nice guy...plus it would probably add more value to my autographed season ticket holder calender if he retired a cub!!!

Doc said:

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If Cleveland is going to trade Wood, they will indeed eat a significant part of that contract. $9 million...probably not. Might be interesting to see if they'd take back a couple of the rejects we got from them for DeRosa.

Doc said:

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Um...

I'm watching the yankee game right now...

and they (announcers and the players) have been talking quite a bit during this telecast about how they are hoping the chemistry is better on the team this year.

WTF?!?!?!

flyball said:

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because chemistry is very important in winning

Dmband said:

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With the cubs seemingly operating under this...I cant remember what its called...oh yeah, "Budget" (whatever that is)...we really need to see Hendry pull something off here...

I also heard they are trying to keep some money available for mid season pickups as well...

Doc said:

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I missed the line-ups for the Brewers game...is Bradley playing?

Doc said:

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Bradley is playing! Just doubled. Boo!

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