Chicago Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd rounds the bases during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at HoHoKam Park. Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Before this afternoon's game, I wanted to say a few things about Dale Sveum's comments about managing the Cubs:
"There’s more media, there’s more scrutinizing, there’s going to be the second guessing of everything," he said. "There’s all that. It’s nothing you don’t know. It’s not like I’ve never been in or played in a big market before. You know what all goes on. I was in Boston for two years with (former Red Sox manager Terry) Francona. I saw, and I know what goes on in those kinds of places."
I've written a lot here about "getting it" -- the link above reminds us that Lou Piniella didn't know what he was getting into when he came to the Cubs (and for that matter, neither did Dusty Baker).
The difference here is, I think, that Baker and Piniella were brought here with long managing experience with several playoff appearances, expected to win. Obviously, Sveum's first year as Cubs manager doesn't have those sorts of expectations. We went through something last year with Mike Quade, who supposedly "got it" from growing up in the Chicago area. That didn't work out so well.
Sveum, with many years as a major league coach but only a few games of actual managing experience, will have to grow into the job. I think he'll be fine.
Also today, the Cubs reassigned Esmailin Caridad and Casey Weathers to the minor-league camp, reducing the number of players in camp to 55. Weathers was also outrighted off the 40-man roster; with the signing of Gerardo Concepcion, the 40-man still stands at 39. Could the Cubs be leaving room for a non-roster guy (Blake DeWitt or Joe Mather)?
DeJesus RF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Soriano LF, LaHair 1B, Mather 3B, Clevenger C, Sappelt CF, Volstad P
No DH today, and I assume you'll be seeing pitchers start to bat more frequently. And Mather at 3B? Hmm. Another indication that he's got a real shot at making the team. Mather was originally drafted as an infielder and played quite a bit of 3B in the Cardinals organization, but not much at the MLB level.
Pagan CF, Cabrera LF, Sandoval 3B, Posey C, Huff 1B, Belt RF, Theriot 2B, Crawford SS, Bumgarner LHP
Chris Volstad gets the start for the Cubs. He was very good in his first outing; I'd like to see that continue. Other Cubs on the list to throw today are Alberto Cabrera, Jay Jackson, Manuel Corpas, Scott Maine and Andy Sonnanstine.
Madison Bumgarner will go for the Giants. Amazing -- he's made 52 major league starts and is still just 22.
Today's game is on cubs.com with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie. Here is the MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Note that for spring training gameday links, you probably will not get pitch-by-pitch as during the regular season; these are unofficial links. Each play will be posted, but might not be updated until after each half-inning.
There will be one overflow thread, which will post at 4:30 pm CT. The "Recent Stories in Game Threads" box on the sidebar is where you'll find it.
Discuss amongst yourselves.