Six days and counting until that first Spring Training game.
- Batters have started to face live pitching and Carlos Marmol is already wild, so he’s 50% of the way to his usual “effectively wild.” Reed Johnson’s elbow is expected to be fine.
- Starlin Castro continues to work on his defense, and remains impressively humble despite his excellent rookie campaign. He even goes so far as to suggest that he’s still got to win his spot on the 25-man roster. And Mike Quade calls him “Cassie.” If Darwin Barney is ever trapped in a well, I guess we know on whom the Cubs can count for the rescue.
- Reliever John Grabow was profoundly ineffective last season before ending up on the shelf with a knee injury (torn MCL), which resulted in a lengthy rehab program in lieu of surgery. This year, Grabow is expected to wear a knee brace, which he hopes will help him regain his 2009 form. In other words, he’s hoping to be average again – and the Cubs are hoping everyone ignores the $4.8 million he’ll make this year.
- Kerry Wood remains the man, regardless of his performance over the last two seasons. He’s obviously very happy to be back with the Cubs, and I’ll not be rooting harder for a player this year than for Kerry Wood.