In what has become a largely symbolic date, today, Chicago Cubs’ Spring camp officially opens with pitchers and catchers due to report to Mesa, Arizona by today.

By my very rough estimate (gleaned primarily from the excellent work of Tim Sheridan), the bigger name pitchers and catchers who are due to arrive today are Welington Castillo, Carlos Marmol, and, um … no one else?

Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Chris Volstad, Travis Wood, Paul Maholm, Kerry Wood, Jeff Samardzija, Geovany Soto, Jason Jaramillo, and Steve Clevenger have all been in camp for a while already, together with a ton of position players and a bunch of young pitchers vying for spots in the bullpen.

So, there isn’t a huge number of “reports” today, but it’s still an important, long-awaited day.

Spring Training is finally, technically, here.

  • Ron Swanson

    I just flew into Mesa yesterday and I’m going to head to Fitch later this morning!! Can’t wait.

    • Brett

      Nice! Let us know how it is and what you see.

      • Ron Swanson

        Will do. If I get some good pictures I’ll e-mail them to you to post if you care to.

        • Brett


          • Toosh

            Agreed. Sweet honeys.

          • Ron Swanson

            Not much happening over there today. Practice fields are quiet, other than groundskeeping activities. Players filtering in and out of Cubs’ offices but not stopping to sign or anything.

        • Jeremy

          Ron Swanson for president!

    • Canadian Cubs Fan

      I hate you…in the nicest, most jealous way possible :-)

  • King Jeff


  • Toosh

    Please include pictures of honeys if possible.

  • Ivy Walls

    Actually the date has moved to being more of a deadline instead of reporting in date. I hope as time goes down this organization looks at 40-man roster and then their minor league contracts as a 12-month employ. That the Dominican facility and the new Mesa facility when completed will provide 12 month training and baseball development operations. That players receive leaves of absence for R & R but have more of an individually structured off season development system.

    How this would involve the Player’s Union is curious but the strives made by players in the off season Mesa Camp cannot be marginalized.

    • Quintz

      Somewhere a union rep just read that and laughed so hard Cheerios came out his nose.

      • Brett

        Regular or Honey Nut?

  • Bren

    so when do the ST game start, early March?

    • Brett

      Yup. First week of March.

  • D17FUZZ

    Ivy walls I don’t believe it can be mandatory for all that but if a MiLB player wants to make the bigs. They could certainly encourage them to participate. When the guys who do go 24/7/365 make the 40 and 25 man rosters before others, do to the progress they’ve made. It would show the others they to need to be there.

  • die hard

    Where does Bosox and San Diego train?…keep an eye out for some of Cub players buying plane tkts for those training camps as per Selig decision…..

    • Matt

      Padres are in Peoria, AZ. Red Sox train in Ft. Myers, FL.

  • Rees81

    Love the Carlton clip!!!

  • Tim S

    Thanks for the mention Brett! 70 degrees for a high temperature and lots of sunshine here in Mesa, a perfect day for pitchers and catchers to report.

    • ty

      If you visit Mesa look up Tim Sheridan–knows Cub organization inside out–young man taking pictures around Fitch and then smooth announcer at HoHoKam for all of our S.T. games. So many of us hoped that Tim would be the new field announcer at Wrigley. One of the good guys!

    • Brett

      No problem, Tim. You do great work – looking forward to hearing your announcing skills in late March.

  • hansman1982

    God, how I would give anything to be at least good enough to be the 25th man on the Cubs. Here I am feeling chilly and it looks sunny and warm there in Arizona.
    Also, Fresh Prince is one of the top 10 shows of all time, hands down.

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    If I was Carlos Marmol, I would have been in camp 3 months(exageration) ago. He needs to work extra hard. Him reporting at the last minute is completely unacceptable.

    • DBT

      By “last minute” you mean “on time”?

      • Brett

        And keep in mind, sometimes guys coming from the Dominican can’t come early due to visa issues.

    • Matt

      It could be worse. He could have taken a page out of a former “enhanced” slugger’s book and reported whenever he felt like gracing everyone with his presence.

  • JasonB

    Can’t remember the last time I was so excited to see a 75 win team report to Spring Training. ¬†Work hard and get better boys!!

    • Canadian Cubs Fan

      You nailed it. My sentiments exactly. They’ll overachieve and win 78 though :-)

  • DocWimsey

    It really is absurd that they start spring training so early. It is a huge anachronism: yes, it was necessary when players did no conditioning except in February and March, but those days have been gone for longer than most MLBers have been alive! With 12-month conditioning programs, they really just need a few days and then a handful of exhibition games. Really, about the only “important” things that every comes out of ST anymore are injuries.

  • cubsin

    I’m optimist enough to believe that BoSox comp won’t involve any pitcher or catcher now in camp. Surely “Larry” Bud is considerate enough of the player(s) involved not to have them report to camp in Arizona, then catch the next plane out to Florida. I’d hope that the Players’ Association would have a hissy fit if he did that.

    The only remaining trade-eligible pitching prospect I’d hate to lose is Rhee. Maples and Concepcion are recent signees, and the rest of them are in camp. But I now think the prospect(s) involved will be position player(s).

  • Toosh

    Never heard him called Larry before. Or Shirley.