Spring Training Miscellany the next day? Bullets at mid-day? You can safely conclude that I had a swell St. Patty’s Day. Keep the noise down.
- I have no issues with how the Cubs’ managerial search went. Dale Sveum looks to be an unimpeachable choice at this point, and I think the Cubs are in good hands. That said, you might think this a bit of a kick in the grapes. Rangers’ pitching coach, Mike Maddux, who was a finalist for the Cubs’ job before withdrawing from consideration, has confirmed what seemed to be an almost unbelievable rumor at the time: if Maddux had gotten the job, he was bringing his brother Greg with him as the pitching coach.
- On the back-up catcher battle, Dale Sveum says someone is going to get screwed. Seriously. That’s actually what he said. “It’s going to be interesting,” Sveum said of the decision. “Somebody’s just going to get screwed, basically, unfortunately. It’s going to be one of those things where you say, ‘I don’t have an answer but you’re not the guy unfortunately.’ They both have their own assets and they’re both really good. A lot of teams would die for that situation. it’s a great situation for us to have but it’s going to be tough for one of them to go down.”
- Jeff Samardzija is getting closer and closer to locking down a rotation spot, something that seemed unfathomable back in November. He likes what he’s done in camp. “Obviously, they’ll make their decisions based on what they feel is best for the team,” Samardzija said. “I feel like I’ve accomplished what I wanted to show in camp and obviously we still have a ways to go. I had to come in and show I wasn’t going to give any free bases and attack the zone and I feel I’ve been doing that. When you do that, you see what happens today, and you get quick outs. Then when you do get in trouble, you still have the pitches to work with and your pitch count isn’t up and you know you can battle and get on to the next inning. I’m happy and it’ll be interesting to go through the lineup a couple times. I’m right where I want to be.”
- Dale Sveum isn’t quite ready to name his Opening Day starter yet – be it Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just a nice little feather in your cap.
- For those who doubted that the Cubs were seriously interested in Yoenis Cespedes, it turns out they were in it until the end. The Cubs’ offer, however (six years and $36 million), simply didn’t compare to the A’s four-year, $36 million (plus a guarantee of free agency thereafter) offer.
- By one advanced metric (Good Plays/Misplays), Alfonso Soriano has been the worst defensive outfielder in baseball over the last three years. Not much more to be said there.
- Phil Rogers suggests a Marlon Byrd/Koji Uehara swap with the Rangers. While Uehara would make some sense for this year’s bullpen, I don’t think the Cubs are terribly interesting in moving short-term assets for other short-term assets. (And, yeah, I know Uehara is under contract through 2015, but he’s about to turn 37.)