One of my favorite things about Spring Training is the insight it gives into the individual players’ desires for the upcoming season. While you can paint with too broad of a brush, I tend to think the guys who show up early for Spring Training are the ones who really want to perform in the upcoming season, and are the ones who are the most dedicated to the team.

This is, of course, totally unfair – these guys are professionals, and many work out in their own facilities until they have to report to camp. The fact that they’re working out in Florida or the Dominican Republic, for example, as opposed to Mesa doesn’t mean they aren’t excited about 2011 or eager to help the Cubs win.

But that said – I can’t help it. I just love it when guys show up early.

So to that end, I’m pleased to share that at least five important players on the 2011 Cubs have already reported to Spring Training (pitchers and catchers aren’t due until Sunday): pitchers Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, outfielder Marlon Byrd, and catcher Geovany Soto. That’s in addition to the many players who were already in Mesa participating in Camp Colvin, including the eponymous Tyler Colvin. I’m sure there are more.

The information comes courtesy of Tim Sheridan, who runs the excellent Boys of Spring site (and who serves as the PA Announcer for games at HoHoKam). Tim also has a few pictures here; and to get you as excited as I am for Spring Training to get underway, here’s one of them (it’s ok to giggle with childish glee):

  • Aisle 424

    Of course, Zambrano was one of the first guys in camp last year and that didn’t work out too well, so you never know. But yeah, it is nice to see.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Let’s get a pool going. Pick the date “Z” has his first epi”Z”ode.

    • Dan0mite

      I actually don’t think he’ll have any major melt downs. He may get fiery once or twice, but nothing like we’ve seen in the past. I think he’ll be the number two or three pitcher and that will take a lot of pressure off him.

  • buzzamus

    Glad to see Garza is already there. Not that I didn’t think he is dedicated anyway, but still nice to see the new guy with tons of potential show up early to get a head start.

  • Jeff

    I knew Dempster would show early, but seeing Wells ready to get after it is a good sign. I also like that Soto is there early with a good portion of the rotation, ready to go to work.

    • wax_eagle

      Yeah its gotta be helpful to have your starting catcher be one of the early guys.

  • brian

    We listen to the winter sports hoping for their formidable championship. Baseball is still king. What is truly desired is the crack of the bat. The boys of spring are upon us and the symposium of the American, no the World’s, way is a stones throw from tomorrow. Rejoice in this year for even if it is not ours it will still be someone’s and that is what brings us back every year. Will a championship cheapen our love? NEVER! Which is why I want to give hope to every year, no matter the team, because in this sport one never knows who the victor is until all games have been played. Ron, I trust you will guide us to our ultimate goal. Amen.

  • wax_eagle

    I’d figure with a new pitching coach the starters at least would want to get there early to try to get on the same page with the new guy. I’m sure (at least I hope) that they have communicated some in the off season, but for sure if it was me I would be in town as soon as the new pitching coach was in town to try to feel him out.