SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- After a 30-minute delay at O'Hare because of a late-arriving plane and then another short delay on the ground at Phoenix because someone passed out in the back of the plane and we had to all wait till the paramedics took her off (she was fine, walking out under her own power), I arrived late last night, and will report from the Cubs/A's game at Phoenix Muni this afternoon. If there's anything interesting/newsworthy happening, I may post a Twitter update (those of you following know that so far, I've only posted BCB links), just to see how that goes.
With only two weeks till Opening Day, Lou has a lot of choices to make. Gordon Wittenmyer runs them down; among the most important ones are getting more work for Ted Lilly and Geovany Soto, who have had a lot of down time in the WBC (so much for players getting overworked there).
Paul Sullivan says that Lou will decide on his closer this week. As mentioned many times here, my choice, at least to start the year, would be Kevin Gregg. The only worry I have about Gregg is his high walk total from last year; his WHIPs have been decent the last two years, so if he can keep the walks down, we'll be just fine. That is, as long as Carlos Marmol can be the guy from the first two months and last two months of 2008.
Meanwhile, Bruce Miles says that Jeff Samardzija is still working hard, trying to break camp in the major league bullpen. He did a good job last August and September; if not, I suspect he'll be sent to Iowa to be stretched out to start.
Today, Ryan Dempster faces the A's Dana Eveland. Gregg will throw today, along with Neal Cotts, Aaron Heilman, Luis Vizcaino and Kevin Hart (hmmm. Sounds like a day for the scouts). Today's lineup, courtesy of Bruce Miles:
Theriot, SS Fontenot, 2B Lee, DH Hoffpauir, RF Fox, 1B Johnson, CF Scales, 3B Hill, C Taguchi, LF Dempster, P
Today's game is available at the MLB.com Mediacenter, with MLB.com announcers (I think we heard these guys the last time we played the A's, too).
I'll post a Gameday link for tonight's WBC championship game (8 pm CDT, ESPN) in the game recap.
Discuss amongst yourselves.