There's been so much news that there's hardly been time to wind down. Well do a quick game recap and then rundown as you scroll down, a couple of trade rumors I'm hearing.
- Chris Volstad got hit hard today but it wasn't as if he was throwing meatballs up there. He showed good stuff once again, throwing between 91-93 mph sinkers, changes, and a slow curve. He was working on changing eye level a bit, going with some 4 seamers and perhaps left the ball up a bit too much. It's something he's working on but the Cubs think it will give him another weapon and make him better in the long run.
- Kerry Wood made an appearance and got Volstad out of the 5th. He only pitched 1/3 of an inning.
- Shawn Camp is trying to make the team and is locked in a battle with Rodrigo Lopez, Manny Corpas, and perhaps Lendy Castillo and Rafael Dolis, although the latter two have probably made the team. He didn't fare well. He pitched 1 1/3 innings today and was hit hard, giving up 3 runs.
- Most of you know I'm a big fan of Alberto Cabrera but today he showed why he's still got a long, long way to go. He's been working on some big adjustments this spring and when they've worked, he's looked great, but when they haven't he has days like today, when he gets hit hard. He pitched 1 2/3 and gave up 4 hits and 3 runs to blow a late lead for the Cubs.
- Darwin Barney went 4 for 4. He's not supposed to be hitting .450 with extra base power. But he is. It's a small sample size, of course...but maybe, just maybe Barney's added strength will do more for him during the season than just keep him from wearing down and help him wear out some opposing pitchers instead. Odds are this won't happen, but it'd be pretty cool if it does. He has put the work in, so it's hard not to root for him.
- Veteran role players Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson each had a pair of hits -- and each of them homered. Baker also had a double.
- I wonder if I should just start telling you when Joe Mather doesn't get a hit or two. That would seem to be bigger news. Today he had two more, including a ringing double.
- Geo Soto must be hearing the footsteps of young catchers pattering behind him because he continues to sting the ball. A couple more doubles for the Cubs starting backstop. Nothing like a little incentive from young players to keep your regular guys focused.
I don't have a ton of information here and I was unable to confirm, so take it for what it's worth and speculate away...
- I was told that the Cleveland Indians have contacted the Cubs, presumably about Marlon Byrd. The Cubs may be seeking relief help and/or a prospect in return.
- Was also told that an AL Central team has called the Cubs about Randy Wells. There are two choices here. One is the Detroit Tigers and the other is the Minnesota Twins. The Tigers have said they would look for a 5th starter type, particularly with Jacob Turner's struggles this spring and the Twins are a bit worried about Scott Baker's elbow.
- Speculation here but saw that David O'Brien of the AJC is saying the Braves are interested in a couple of "lesser" Cubs than Marlon Byrd. The obvious fit here is Jeff Baker. He can play 3B for Chipper, kills lefties (a big need for them), and can return to a supersub role when Chipper comes back. The other guy may be Reed Johnson with Martin Prado coming into play 3B until Chipper returns.