Cubs Invite 19 to Spring Training

The Cubs are going to have a full house in Mesa this spring, inviting 19 non-roster players to camp. To the list:


LHP: J.R. Mathes, James Russell

RHP: Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, Jeff Kennard and Vince Perkins

Catchers: Robinson Chirinos, Steve Clevenger, Blake Lalli and Chris Robinson.

Infielders: Darwin Barney, Matt Camp, Starlin Castro, Bryan LaHair, Bobby Scales and Josh Vitters

Outfielders: Brett Jackson and Brad Snyder

I started to keep track of past non-roster invitees at Wiklifield as well and if anyone can help fill in the gaps, it would be much appreciated, even if it's just a link.

In other news, Ted Lilly has already begun throwing after an offseason shoulder scope and Foxsports says the Cubs have shown interest in Kiko Calero, but are worried about his shoulder.


from the conference,

The Naples partners expect the Cubs to announce their decision immediately following the Cubs convention this weekend.

couldn't afford decent microphones apparently...

Is it just me or is that conference mind-numbingly boring, at least to a Cubs fan?

I watched 5 minutes and I'm attention span isn't that good. I blame MTV.

Tigers, Cardinals (Mother effer) and one other team...

Why aren't the Cubs in on this, again?

We've promised the closer spot to a guy gives up a free base runner per inning.

Ivan Dejesus will take over 1b coaching duties

looks like they're just flipping jobs...

nobody f's with Dejesus

still in the picture once he realizes he's not getting a starting job, Xavier Nady mentioned as well

We don't have any prospects in Haiti do we?

What a bummer for those already unfortunate folks...

Compassion International does a terrific job and is extremely cost-effective. $35 donation will provide food and clean water for a family for a week.

Thank you.

goes on sale tomorrow for those on the season ticket waiting list...

Friday, May 28 vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Friday, June 11 vs. Chicago White Sox
Friday, June 18 vs. Los Angeles Angels
Friday, July 16 vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Friday, July 23 vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Friday, September 3 vs. New York Mets
Friday, September 24 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Believes McGwire HOFer w/out steroids

He's Dave Kingman at best without the roids.

"I'm not one to judge."

...yet he just judged him to be a HOF'r who's going through a tough time. just because your view isn't negative doesn't mean you're not one to judge...damn humans. i'm not even trying to be all technical here...the guy is an embarrassment to those who played the game clean in the roid era.

A rare anti-Cub article from the dim one

Must have ran out of peanut butter for her Great Dane, Muff Muff.

oh nos...a 140 million team with good pitching up top and 3+ legit sluggers in the middle. woe. woe!!

26 of 45, but nobody drafted before Dunston

You didn't get Rick James in 1965?

F' your couch!!!

I don't dare see how bad I would do. However, I'm proud to say I aced playoff opponents. Let's see "the greatest fans in baseball" do that with their rube team.

think it's subscription..

Entering 2010, the Cubs have more than $125 million committed to just 11 players, including eight earning more than $10 million. That leaves a team that opened 2009 with a club-record payroll of $137 million almost already there again with 14 contracts still left to fulfill, nine of which could get locked up in the arbitration process. The $125 million figure doesn't lead baseball, as the Yankees and Red Sox surpass it, but what makes situation so uniquely bad is that many of the contracts are for underperforming players, with Hendry' propensity for handing out no-trade clauses like they were lollipops further constraining future personnel decisions, including at the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline should the Cubs contend.

Actually the Cubs have $116.875M (not more than $125M) committed to their 11 signed players, plus $1M paid toward Aaron Miles 2010 salary, plus a projected estimated $10M for the eight (not nine) arbitration eligibles, plus another $3.5M for auto-renewal guys (including $1M in split salaries for players on option to the minors), for a grand projected estimated total of about $131.375M (so far).

So the Cubs probably have about $9M in available 2010 payroll left (presuming the limit is $140M). It could be more than $9M if the 2010 payroll budget exceeds $140M, although Hendry probably will save some of it for mid-season trade acquisitions.

BTW, the Cubs are presently committed to $98.225M in 2011 salaries for nine players (Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly are the only free-agents), although it could go down to $83.625M if Aramis Ramirez opts to be a FA (player option). In addition to the nine signed players, the eight players presently eligible for arbitration will be joined post-2010 by Geovany Soto and possibly Micah Hoffpauir (could be a "Super Two"), although Hoffpauir would have to spend less than 20 days on optional assignment to the minors in 2010 to be reasonably sure of qualifying as a "Super Two." (If Hoffpauir spends 20 or more days on optional assignment to the minors in 2010 he probably won't have enough MLB Service Time to qualify as a "Super Two").

Read it yesterday at ESPN, but I think it's an Insider-only article there.

But to also think that La Russa was walking around the St. Louis and Oakland clubhouses with his fingers in his ears and a hat like Fat Albert's Dumb Donald also requires a huge leap in logic. Here's one of the smartest guys in the game of baseball, only he was completely stupid in just this one area? That's difficult for people to reconcile.

guys getting away with using roids/hgh on your teams is good managing, imo. hehe...

that said, while i believe larussa most likely knew about it...or at least had a damn good idea it was happening...i imagine the players knew better than to actually make it a public display in front of superiors.

Same reason Bernie Madoff did it... huge financial incentives for everyone. Bernie Madoff can't get away with it though.

C. Beltran could be out all of 2010.

others saying it was microfracture surgery...

Medwedeff met with Cubs President Crane Kenney shortly before Christmas. Kenney gave Medwedeff the impression that the owners were looking for support from the hotel association and the big hoteliers to get behind the project.

“Kenney said if he got the consensus of the lodging organiztion within the county that it would suppoprt the project by virtue of bed tax funds it would be the last piece he was looking for to approach the owners that they submit their notice of termination with Mesa and start negotiations with Collier,” Medweddeff said.

here's what I found:

SI Jon Heyman...heard beltran had knee surgery today. expected to need 8 weeks rehab. may miss start of year. #mets

nyp_joelsherman: Trying to get 2d confirmation, but hear that Beltran had microfracture knee surgery today without #Mets permission

Since when does he need the Mets' permission?

Appropriately Jan Gabriel died on "SUNDAY!SUNDAY!SUNDAY!"

So how much money must each game make to break even? About 140 mil for players, another 20 for management/office/scouts. A certain amount of that comes from TV. Beer is ? a can now? I send in 20 bucks a month for MLB.TV...anybody have any idea? Not that I'm scared for "Da Family."

Casey Coleman is a good baseball name. Thomas Diamond is #2 in that category.

adding names to The Good Baseball Name thread...

Prince Fielder
Steve Swisher
Homer Bailey

Joshua S. Outman belongs on any list of good baseball names.

on XM last night the Reds team orthopod, Dr Tim Kremchek was interviewed...apparently Beltran had a knee scope by Dr. Richard Steadman out of Colorado (who is known as a specialist in microfracture work). Supposedly Beltran will not be able to resume baseball activities for 12 weeks (mid April) since after microfracture surgery the patient isn't allowed full weight bearing initially in order for the cartilage surface that was drilled to bring in blood supply and give healing cells a head start. I only caught the end of the interview but they were discussing that playing with knee arthritis is somewhat unpredictable because the symptoms can come and go. I doubt the Mets have any issue with who Beltran selected for this procedure since he's still considered a national expert in this area. The only issues might be notification and timing but apparently Beltran felt OK when the season ended but his symptoms became more severe in the past month.

Baseball can be played with arthritic knees but it might take some working around and a decent pain threshold... the best example is Andre Dawson.

here's a link about microfracture surgery that even mentions Dr Steadman. Actually it's not all that new of a procedure. An earlier version was developed by arthroscopic surgery pioneer, Dr Lanny Johnson, in the 1980's.

another Joel Sherman tweet about Mets not happy with Beltran's decision to have surgery without their "blessing":

Stoopid Mets.

Boras (Beltran's agent) plus Mr Anonymity's comments in USA Today...

A person (wearing a bag over his head) with knowledge of the situation said Beltran did not obtain advance written consent from the club to have the surgery, which was performed by his personal physician, Dr. Richard Steadman, in Colorado. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Mets didn't discuss the matter publicly.
Beltran's agent, Scott Boras, said the guarantee language in the slugger's contract requires advance written permission only for elective operations.

"This was necessary surgery, necessary surgery to work," Boras told The Associated Press.
Boras said Steadman spoke with Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek on Monday and again after Beltran was examined in Colorado on Tuesday, and that Steadman obtained Altchek's consent for the surgery.

Boras also said he called Mets executives Monday to tell them Beltran was going to see Steadman and that they should keep in touch with Altchek.

The person with knowledge of the situation said Altchek was not authorized to give consent because he is not a Mets official.

This is clearly gamesmanship although I don't think the Mets "have a leg to stand on"
The definition of "elective" surgery to me means it's ultimately the patients decision to go ahead with surgery which is any procedure that isn't life or limb threatening and (big AND) doesn't have a short timeline to make that decision before a good outcome can't be achieved (ie. fixing significantly displaced fractures which if not treated in a timely manner would lead to a bad result).

The definition of "necessary" surgery is harder to define, since other than cosmetic surgery most surgeons who recommend a procedure think it's necessary based on a particular outcome trying to be achieved (albeit the chance of the surgery achieving it's goal or a good outcome can vary based on the specific medical problem and the track record for a procedure). Certainly the fracture scenerio I mentioned above fits here. In Beltran's case the outcome trying to be achieved is knee pain relief which is more subjective and can't be (ideally) objectively measured. Microfracture surgery is unlikely to restore the damaged articular cartilage to "good as new" condition. It's a procedure recommended to try to achieve pain relief.

So using the terminology being used, it's more of a legal (contracts) issue, not a doctor recommendation issue. Beltran's surgery was clearly elective. It certainly can be considered necessary although I don't like that term (I prefer to use the term "reasonable") since "necessary" has a different meaning to each person involved here...a patient, a doctor, a lawyer, a sports agent and a baseball GM.

Cosmetic surgery (elective, yes; necessary, no) isn't covered by most insurance plans (although it's lucrative work because it's a cash up front business).

Hey Cubster, this is somewhat unrelated, but I'm curious what it means for Carlos Silva if he is trying to pitch through shoulder impingement. How much more damage can he do to himself by pitching through pain in that case? Is it a matter of simply taking anti-inflammatory drugs, pain killers, and prepping differently for games? Is their a surgery option? What route to baseball players usually go with shoulder impingement? Am I wrong that that's what he has?

Called it last month(pats self on back)

Paul Sullivan on WSCR this am, said a source of his told him yesterday Cubs looking at Dye to "play 3-4 games a week" to give "Soriano more rest".

Huh?? Sori still sore?

Stay tuned.

on wscr with Sully they also wanted Soriano to play some 2B if they brought in Dye (unless Fuky would play 2B...didn't he start out as a SS?).

Those goofy sportswriters.

They also speculated that Dye's current price tag has dropped into the $3M with incentives range. Dye would be interesting if he's willing to become the platoon RF and 4th OF. One point I liked was what happens if Fuky or Byrd goes out with an injury. Right now it's Micah Hoffpauir as their next option (although I'd rather see Brad Snyder), so that puts Dye in a bit of a different light. The other options are Xavier Nady (who I like) or Reed Johnson (who at least can play CF too).

I missed the whole second base thing, which is stupid.

But I figure Dye would be like a Reed Johnson like signing around start of ST.

Padres have no cash.

But the interesting thing I thought was getting Sori rest, which means he'll need to get out of outfield soon, which I think gets him over to first base next year unless they can trade him.

Regarding Dye's The source characterized the team's interest in Dye, who has 325 career home runs in 14 Major League seasons, as "low on likelihood."
Here's Sullivan's Tribune link to his Dye comments:

Great plan.... it's FOOLPROOF!

If Dye gives Soriano a rest "3-4 games a week," doesn't that make Dye the starter?

seemed like you were speculating that he'd be a regular, but Dye as Fuku's platoon partner and giver of days off would be pretty awesome if he's comfortable with the role. Might mean Hoff's out of job though, since they'd want a guy who could play CF on the bench, although I guess Fuku could be the CF back-up

Soto, Hill
Lee, Baker, Fontenot, Theriot, Blanco, Ramirez
Fuku, Byrd, Soriano, Dye, Hoff/Fuld/Colvin

Z, Dempster, Lilly, Wells, Gorzelanny
Marshall, Guzman, Marmol, Grabow, Silva, 2 others

Adam signs 1/4-5M deal with Dbacks after allegedly turning down 2/17.5M from Giants


hope there's a good story behind it...

We've all seen this said elsewhere,

1. Starlin Castro: Castro has a full tool shed to work with, including quick wrists that aren't hitting for much power now but should support average power as his body fills out...

but, Castro already has average power, so I'm confused by what they mean. He's a minor league career .403 slugger.

The average major league shortstop hitter is pretty much Ryan Theriot. The 26 SS's with at least 400 PA's last season only put these numbers up, .273 .331 .389 and .712 (which is the average OPS rather than the sum of the average OBA and SLG).

Not sure what Theriot has to do with the "average power" of a SS. Theriot was 16th out of 18 qualifying MLB SS's in SLUG last year.

But a .403 SLUG would place Castro 11th.

You're talking median, Nav is talking average.

I personally think median probably matters more here, though.

No... I am talking about how Ryan Theriot isn't very relevant in talking about the average power of a SS.

Ryan Theriot isn't the average, or median, SS in terms of power.

All very good, but the original quote doesn't say anything about "for a shorstop". Average power for a MLB regular = 15 HR's 30 doubles.

I mentioned Theriot (in a separate paragraph) because we're all familiar with him and he's arguably an average hitting SS. In my example above his OPS of .712 sets the average for major league baseball. If I expand my list of shortstops to all ML SS's with 250 PA's or more, Theriot's SLG ranks 18/35. ( ) I'd say that's average power by that measure. But most of us don't think Theriot has any power at all.. not really.

So, when writers say Castro has below average power now but may grow into average power, what are they all talking about? That's what I'm asking. As far as I can tell, he's already there power wise.

Power is measured by ISO, not OPS. Mystery solved.

I doubt this link works but..

Theriot is dead last in ISO over the last 3 years among qualified major league shortstops at .072.

change it to 500 PA's and he's 49 of 56 (ahead of Aaron Miles and Izturis though).

-Said he's in "best shape ever"
- Wants to help team win
-Said he had "6 pack abs" lifted up his shirt, Waddle said atleast a "4 pack" and could not believe Z was 265, but he looked so fit
-Talked about Lou visits to mound and what he says, (Z doing Lou's voice)-"Ya gotta throw strikes. Cmon. ALot of people are watching"
-Most feared hitter Pujlos then Carlos Lee
-Goals for next year "stay in shape" and help the team win
-Did not play softball last year
-Didn't want to address Sosa and McGwire but said he had baseball friend who took "asteroids"(no joke)
The friend did not make MLB but had warning track power and when he took "asteroids"(second time) he could "smash the ball"

Good to see a MLBer admit aster... I mean steroids help you cheat.

Sounded great. Go get'em Z!!!!

Levine has a new post up on his blog, where he is attending the owners meetings in AZ.

He concludes, "Hendry will put his GM hat on again this evening when he hopes to talk to other GMs about possible player movement scenarios. The San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies are all teams that have players the Cubs are interested in."

I assume he is refering to Heath Bell, Jason Fraser and Ryan Spillborghs.

In Spanish it's spelled with an 'e' on the front, which would probably explain his pronunciation, according to the gent who sits behind me.

Ahh! Great call.

It did kinda sound like "esteroid".

Recent comments

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.