Geovany Soto is healthy enough to make his Spring debut today against the Brewers. The Cubs travel to Maryvale today to battle Dale Sveum’s former team, and Aramis Ramirez’s new team, the Brewers. Ryan Dempster gets the start today, first pitch is at 2:05 central. The game will be on WGN TV, and national league rules are back in play, so no more dh. Check back after the game for a full recap. Here’s how the Cubs lineup.
1. RF – David DeJesus
2. LF – Reed Johnson
3. SS – Starlin Castro
4. 1B – Bryan LaHair
5. C – Geovany Soto
6. 3B – Ian Stewart
7. 2B – Darin Barney
8. CF – Tony Campana
9. P – Ryan Dempster
With games rapidly approaching, Dale Sveum and his coaching staff have set the first three spots in the rotation to open up the Spring
schedule this weekend. Rodrigo Lopez will get things started, he will be followed by Ryan Dempster, and Matt Garza. Dale Sveum was quick to caution fans trying to read too much into Dempster being ahead of Garza, saying that they will determine the rotation to start the season sometime in the middle of spring training. Lopez gets the first crack to prove he belongs at the back end of the Cubs rotation. Other competitors for the four/five spots in the rotation per Sveum are Randy Wells, Travis Wood, and Chris Volstad. It looks more and more like it will be something along the lines of Garza, Dempster and Maholm to head the rotation, but anything can and usually does happen in the Spring.
Yes Cubs fans, you read that correctly, and it’s not up for discussion according to Cubs skipper Dale Sveum, “It’s Bryan LaHair’s job, and it’s not his to lose. It’s his job and the guy has earned the right to have it and he’s earned the right for me to have a lot of patience too if he’s not getting off to a good start.” As Dale Sveum begins to dive into his first camp as the Cubs manager, he is starting to piece together what the opening day lineup will look like. Much to the surprise of many, the first decision that was made was that of Brian LaHair not only starting at first base, but hitting 4th, arguably the spot in the lineup for a teams biggest run producer. Cubs fans got a taste of LaHair at the end of last season, and one could say that LaHair’s performance was one of the few bright spots in a very dark season. In 59 at bats last season LaHair hit a respectable, if not solid .288 with a .377 on base percentage. That type of on base percentage was unheard of for a Cubs player last year given the complete lack of discipline and patience at the plate from the team as a whole, in fact LaHair’s OBP led the team, not counting Steve Clevenger who only had 4 at bats.
Throughout the season we will have features that we run each day of the week, one of them will be Media Monday. We hope to bring you all the best pictures, audio, and video (where allowed by MLB) from the past week. Obviously everyone is very excited about Spring training getting underway, please enjoy the content below.
After an off season full of excitement, and building, the 2012 Cubs baseball season is kicking off today in Mesa Arizona. Pitchers and catchers are due to report today, and many have showed up early. On Friday, Kerry Wood and Rodrigo Lopez each threw off the mound, hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo worked with some players in the cages, and Darwin Barney, Bryan LaHair and Josh Vitters were among those practicing on the half field. The most telling quotes coming out of Mesa might have been from Marlon Byrd via (Carrie Muskat)
Lost in the hoopla surrounding the Cubs since the end of the season was the little matter of deciding Mike Quade’s future. Even if we, and most Cub fans knew that Mike Quade was not Major League manager material, the Cubs brass
needed to make that official. Shortly after the Cubs front office was completely re energized, the no brainer decision to let Mike Quade pursue other opportunities, most likely in the minors or outside of baseball was made. We will give Epstein some credit here with the way he handled the process of letting Quade go, very professional. He made multiple trips to meet with Quade, and had a number of conversations with him and others in the organization to see if he would be a good fit, not based on what he had done it the past, but where he thought, and wanted this team to go in the future. Clearly, Quade’s idea’s did mesh with the idea’s of the new regime that was now in place, and he was let go from his two year deal that had one year remaining on it. Epstein and company didn’t have to go far to find the 52nd manager of the Chicago Cubs, just a short trip up I-94 to Milwaukee to find Dale Sveum. Sveum, serving as the third base coach in 2004 with the Red Sox, won a World Series title with Epstein. Since 2006, Sveum was on the Brewers coaching staff with titles ranging from third base coach, to bench coach, and to most recently hitting coach. Sveum did get a crack at the managerial position albeit a short one in 2008 when he took over for Ned Yost and led the Brewers to a 7-5 record down the stretch and a NL Wild Card berth. Along with Sveum, the following coaches will be joining the Cubs this season...