Since the game ended reasonably early today, I had time to post this recap. The Cubs beat the Padres 5-3 this afternoon at Mesa, but the biggest news was kind of a throwaway line on the WGN radio broadcast:
The club will cut as many as 10 players by or on Monday. At last, we're going to get a better idea of how the 2009 bench and bullpen are going to be constituted.
One player who may not continue is Corey Koskie, who will make a decision on his future by tomorrow; apparently the fall he took diving for a ball yesterday, in his first spring start in a Cub uniform, took more out of him than anyone imagined at the time. If he does decide to hang it up, give the guy kudos for at least giving it another shot, and I wish him well. I hope he can continue, but understand under the circumstances if he can't.
If Koskie really can't continue, I'd expect Jim Hendry to investigate a deal; maybe the Maicer Izturis idea that I floated here a week or so ago could be investigated further. There's still a surplus in the bullpen, and guys like Chad Gaudin and Luis Vizcaino have to still be on the bubble. Angel Guzman helped his cause today by throwing well for two innings; maybe he's back in the mix for the middle inning role. Meanwhile, Kevin Hart probably pitched his way off the team today with two hit batters.
Emergency starter Mitch Atkins gave up a couple of unearned runs due to a Mike Fontenot error that otherwise would have ended the first inning; Padres first baseman Kyle Blanks smashed a two-run homer, giving San Diego their only runs. Reed Johnson matched that two-run shot later on for his first homer of the spring.
Tomorrow's game is again televised via CSN Chicago -- with the Sox announcers, fair warning, although Steve Stone's presence makes it at least intriguing for Cub fans to listen to. It'll also be on WGN radio, if you have one of those radio/TV sync boxes, you'll have a chance to try it out tomorrow.