Cubs Get 2008 Season Started at Fitch Park

With security understandably tight (well, there was one off-duty Mesa cop in the players parking lot), the Cubs had their first "official" work-out of the 2008 season under mostly cloudy skies (around 60 degrees, with a wind chill of about 59) this morning at Mesa's Fitch Park, as Pitchers & Catchers and eight position player "early birds" took the field. It was a smaller crowd than usual for the first day (maybe about 40 or 50 fans), but at least nobody got arrested. As usual, the pitchers were broken up into four groups, and rotated from Field #2 (PFP - practice covering first base) to Field #3 (pick-off practice) to the pit (side-throwing), under the eagle-eye supervision of coaches Larry Rothschild and Lester Strode and ST instructors Mark Riggins, Mike Mason, and Dennis Lewallyn. GROUP: 1: Edward Campusano Scott Eyre Adam Harben Rich Hill Jon Lieber Carlos Marmol Kerry Wood Carlos Zambrano GROUP 2: Ryan Dempster Chad Fox Bob Howry Ted Lilly Jason Marquis Sean Marshall Michael Wuertz GROUP 3: Neal Cotts Kevin Hart Geoffrey Jones Tim Lahey Juan Mateo Billy Petrick Shingo Takatsu GROUP 4: Jose Ascanio Esmailin Caridad Jose Ceda Carmen Pignatiello Jeff Samardzija Mike Smith Les Walrond Angel Guzman (who is rehabbing from TJ elbow surgery) definitely did not participate, and I don't recall seeing Sean Gallagher with any of the groups, either, although I might have missed him. Meanwhile, the catchers were working hard out on Field #4 with Matt Sinatro and Minor League Catching Coordinator Casey Kopitzke. This group included: Henry Blanco Welington Castillo J. D. Closser Josh Donaldson Koyie Hill Casey McGehee Geovany Soto Corey Miller (bullpen cacher) Edgar Tovar (bullpen catcher) While the pitchers were out on Fields #2 & #3 and the catchers were doing their thing on Field #4, the position players who arrived early were on Field #1 taking BP. Coaches Gerald Perry, Alan Trammell, Mike Quade, Von Joshua, Dave Keller, Bobby Dickerson, Carmelo Martinez, Bobby Dernier, and Billy Williams were out on the field with the players, taking turns throwing BP for about 10 minutes each. This group of eight players (taking BP in groups of four) included: Tyler Colvin Jake Fox Sam Fuld Micah Hoffpauir Eric Patterson Felix Pie Ryan Theriot Daryle Ward (looking almost thin?!) After the position players finished their BP and the pitchers completed their work-out, the catchers moved to Fields #1 and #2 and took BP. FIELD 1: W. Castillo Donaldson McGehee FIELD 2: H. Blanco Closser K. Hill Soto For those of you who might be interested in such things, there have been several uniform number changes for 2008 (in bold), and here is the current Cubs Spring Training Roster (with uniform numbers), as least as things stand right now (and certainly subject to change). 1 - Kosuke Fukudome, OF 2 - Ryan Theriot, INF 3 - Alan Trammell, COACH (was #6) 4 - Eric Patterson, IF-OF (was #3) 5 - Ronny Cedeno, INF 6 - NOT ASSIGNED AT THIS TIME 7 - Mark DeRosa, INF 8 - Mike Quade, COACH 9 - Jake Fox, C 10 - RETIRED (Ron Santo) 11 - Ivan DeJesus, COACH (was #59) 12 - Alfonso Soriano, OF 13 - NOT ASSIGNED AT THIS TIME 14 - RETIRED (Ernie Banks) 15 - Andres Torres, OF 16 - Aramis Ramirez, INF 17 - Mike Fontenot, INF 18 - Geovany Soto, C (was #58) 19 - Matt Murton, OF 20 - Felix Pie, OF 21 - Jason Marquis, RHP 22 - Kevin Hart, RHP (was #55) 23 - RETIRED (Ryne Sandberg) 24 - Henry Blanco, C 25 - Derrek Lee, 1B 26 - Billy Williams, ST INSTRUCTOR 27 - Sam Fuld, OF (was #57) 28 - Gerald Perry, COACH 29 - J. D. Closser, C 30 - Ted Lilly, LHP 31 - NOT ASSIGNED AT THIS TIME 32 - Jon Lieber, RHP 33 - Daryle Ward, 1B-OF (was #32) 34 - Kerry Wood, RHP 35 - Lester Strode, COACH 36 - Sean Gallagher, RHP 37 - Angel Guzman, RHP 38 - Carlos Zambrano, RHP 39 - Matt Sinatro, COACH 40 - Larry Rothschild, COACH 41 - Lou Piniella, MGR 42 - RETIRED (MLB-wide - Jackie Robinson) 43 - Michael Wuertz, RHP 44 - Chad Fox, RHP 45 - Sean Marshall, LHP 46 - Ryan Dempster, RHP 47 - Scott Eyre, LHP 48 - Neal Cotts, LHP 49 - Carlos Marmol, RHP 50 - Jeff Samardzija, RHP 51 - Juan Mateo, RHP 52 - Tim Lahey, RHP 53 - Rich Hill, LHP 54 - Shingo Takatsu, RHP 55 - Koyie Hill, C 56 - Billy Petrick, RHP 57 - Andres Blanco, INF 58 - Jose Ascanio, RHP 59 - Adam Harben, RHP 60 - Les Walrond, LHP 61 - Mike Smith, RHP 62 - Bob Howry, RHP 63 - Carmen Pignatiello, LHP 64 - Casey McGehee, C-3B 65 - Luis Figueroa, INF 66 - Tyler Colvin, OF 67 - Micah Hoffpauir, 1B 68 - Josh Kroeger, OF 69 - NOT ASSIGNED (this number is NEVER assigned!) 70 - Geoffrey Jones, LHP 71 - Esmailin Caridad, RHP 72 - Welington Castillo, C 73 - Bobby Scales, IF-OF 74 - Josh Donaldson, C 75 - Pat Listach, ST INSTRUCTOR (AAA manager) 76 - Jose Ceda, RHP 77 - Dave Bialas, ST INSTRUCTOR (Minor League Field Coordinator) 78 - Edward Campusano, LHP 79 - NOT ASSIGNED AT THIS TIME 80 - Carmelo Martinez, ST INSTRUCTOR (Latin American Field Coordinator) 81 - Bobby Dernier, ST INSTRUCTOR (Minor League Outfield & Base-running Coordinator) 82 - Von Joshua, ST INSTRUCTOR (AAA Hitting Instructor) 83 - Buddy Bailey, ST INSTRUCTOR (AA Manager) 84 - Bobby Dickerson, ST INSTRUCTOR (Minor League Infield & Bunting Coordinator) 85 - Mark Riggins, ST INSTRUCTOR (Minor League Pitching Coordinator) 86 - Mike Mason, ST INSTRUCTOR (AAA Pitching Coach) 87 - Dave Keller, ST INSTRUCTOR (Minor League Hitting Coordinator) 88 - Casey Kopitzke, ST INSTRUCTOR (Minor League Catching Coordinator) 89 - Dennis Lewallyn, ST INSTRUCTOR (AA Pitching Coach) 90-97 NOT ASSIGNED AT THIS TIME 98 - Edgar Tovar, BULLPEN CATCHER 99 - Corey Miller, BULLPEN CATCHER Position players do not have to report until next week. Players do not start to receive their salaries until the start of the regular season, so every player in big league camp---whether it be Alfonso Soriano or Welington Castillo---gets paid the same, which amounts to about $1,000 per week (adding the MLB Spring Training allowance, housing allowance, and per diem together). .