Spring Training Notes: Position Players to Report Today, Platooning, Compensation

Spring Training Notes: Position Players to Report Today, Platooning, Compensation

This is something of a formality because almost all the Cubs players are in camp early, but today is the official day for position players to report.  The only players who have not yet reported are Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro, Blake DeWitt, and prospect Jae Hoon Ha.  I'm going to be honest here and say I'm a little disappointed Castro didn't come into camp early and start working on his defense, but I'll reserve comment until I know more.  Then again, I'll even be more disappointed if he comes in late.

  • The veterans that are in camp are really buying into the rebuild and Sveum had a lot of praise for Matt Garza, Geovanny Soto, Kerry Wood, and Ryan Dempster.  The latter two names are expected as they've been team leaders for a while now, but it's nice to see Garza and Soto emerge into those kind of leadership roles.
  • Sveum does not intend to platoon players, which includes Ian Stewart who has hit .223 against them in his career.  David DeJesus hit .174 against lefties last year, but a respectable .264 against them in his career.
  • The bunting contest starts today.  There are only 62 players in camp, so manager Dale Sveum and strength conditioning coach Tim Buss are in on the competition.  Not that I'm a huge fan of bunting, but it's probably not a good think if Buss wins.  For the record, he draws prospect Chris Rusin in the first round.  "The pressure's on me", he said.  Overall, I think it's a great idea.  The players are really into it as you can read here.
  • Jed Hoyer spoke yesterday on CH Confidential and Ivy Envy has a nice recap.  Hoyer had some interesting things to say about Anthony Rizzo, compensation, and why the Cubs didn't pursue a big name player.  Of course, we've talked about that here as well when the Cubs were said to be "pursuing" Fielder.  It turns out that pursuit never happened at all, according to LaHair.  Not that anyone should really be surprised.
  • As for the Theo Epstein compensation, there are very different opinions coming from Chicago and Boston.  Bruce Levine of ESPN believes the cost was too high, saying the Cubs should have given up a low level player and cash.  In Boston, there's a Rosenbloom-like rant on WEEI about how Boston bungled the whole thing and should have held Theo Epstein hostage.  My opinion was that it was fair, as does the reader poll, -- especially given the circumstances where Boston wouldn't settle for what was precedent and Lucchino got everyone obsessed with the word "significant".  I lean toward Levine's thought it should have been a lower level player and cash.  But if you ask me if the low level player should have been Ben Wells or Reggie Golden (both ranked lower than Carpenter by BA), I would have been much more disappointed -- even if they never make it at all.  Carpenter is a reliever, and as I wrote a couple of days ago, the Cubs have plenty of those in the system.


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  • Ya the Castro thing is a bit discerning. Family emergencies and legal issues to me are the only foreseeable excuse I would be ok with. Even if he is unhealthy in some degree he can be looked at by team docs. But like you said until more is known a rush to judgement isn't necessary.

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    I'll wait to hear the story, but it would have been nice to see him come in early and work on his throws to first. Now I'm hoping he at least makes it on time.

  • Hmmm.....
    Reads like the rantings of any meathead asshole with a job at a sports talk radio station. I think we can safely ignore this and move forward now.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Found myself strangely fascinated by his tantrum, like watching a verbal car wreck.

  • Sports talk radio host = ignorant blowhard, that simple. As much as we ( myself included) trashed Carfardo for being a biased , unreasonable Red Sox mgmt shill ,hes' ok compared to other Boston people, like this clown. There has been a prevailing opinon by some other writers and radio guys that the Red Sox should have held Epstein hostage until they get a player like Starlin Castro or 2-3 of the Cubs best prospects . The scary part is that these moronic d-bags thought this was reasonable.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    I think a lot of the Boston media was misled throughout the process and had unrealistic expectations. This guy has had a harder time getting over it than most. Carpenter is probably the best player to exchange hands in any of the compensation deals in history except for the Randy Winn/Lou Piniella comp -- but that has to be considered an outlier and a mistake on Tampa's part at this point.

  • Not thrilled with Castro either, going to check and see what's up with that. Now is the time to get this new direction off on right foot.

  • I read that Boston rant and thought it was a piece of work. I even read through some of the comments from BoSox fans. It's funny how everyone is an expert these days. As fans, we can cry all we want, but in the end they are going to do what is best for the organization whether we like or not.

    Not happy to hear about Castro either. A friend made a comment about Castro a few months ago and now I'm beginning to wonder if he was right.

  • My guess on Castro would be either visa problems or he doesn't want to have to deal with media questions regarding his legal issues any sooner than he has to. I'm definitely not condoning it.

  • Anyone else think that it's strange that Castro hasn't reported yet, and neither has his MENTOR Soriano?

    I think we are seeing a clear link here. One of the reasons why I can't wait to get Sori off the team. I think that Castro will not listen to anyone else (or imitate anyone else for that matter) until his role model is not with the team anymore.

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    MENTOR!!! More like MENTAL!!! Soriano gets praise heaped on him by many about how great of a teammate and leader he is...I see a lazy ass moron who squandered a TON of talent..He needs to be seperated from Castro and i bet Theo and Co will get him moved or cut him...I laugh at how a lot of these Domenican players say how they admired Roberto Clemente and none of these pricks play the game the way he did.. I was watching Prime 9 talking about the best outfielders ever and they showed tons of action shots of Clemente at the plate and what impressed me most was his ability to go to right field with the outside pitches CONSISTENTLY!!! It's a lost art and if a dumb ass like Sorryano would EVER do that, he would have punched his ticket to Cooperstown..Instead he pulls everything and has no clue att he plate, thus he's regressed into the shit that he is..

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    While it would be nice for Castro to be there early, he doesn't have to be. I'm sure my boss would love for me to show up early to work, but I'm not obligated to. Now if he's late, I'll be annoyed.

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    Is anyone at spring training this year?

  • In reply to Nate Hummel:

    Do you mean of the readers? If so, there's quite a few. I plan on going if I can get the time. All players are there except for Lake, Castro, and Soriano but I think they're all expected to be there tomorrow.

  • In reply to Nate Hummel:

    Nate, I live in Phoenix and was at Fitch on Sunday..I plan on attending the weekend games all throughout Spring Training except those broadcast on WGN ...

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    LOL yes sorry for clarifying I meant among the readers. I'm pulling the trigger either this or next and was wondering if the atmosphere was like. For a family vacation once we went to disney world and my dad got tickets to a braves-cards game so he could finally witness a ST game and it didn't disappoint. It was McGwire's twilight but that ST was Pujols' first and this is when no one knew who he was so made it even better I saw one of the first times he even donned a MLB uniform. He hit a homerun oppo field and it went over the scoreboard. Even as a Cubs fan, as a 12 year old it was cool to see

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