These Bullets are “fight” free, as I’ll have some thoughts on last night’s scuffles coming later this morning.

  • Gordon Wittenmyer asked Dale Sveum to name the players currently on the roster that he’s confident will be on the roster Opening Day 2013. He could come up with only nine names: Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell, Alfonso Soriano, David DeJesus, Darwin Barney, Matt Garza and Welington Castillo. No Carlos Marmol? No Travis Wood? Could have been mere oversights, or an acknowledgement that the Cubs will be shopping Marmol (they will), and could make huge changes in the rotation (I wouldn’t be willing to call Wood a lock, either, and I like Wood). And then there are young guys like Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters, who very well could be back at AAA to start next year.
  • Dale Sveum on his ejection two nights ago (after home plate umpire Larry Vanover “eyeballed” him): “Sometimes it takes a lot for me to get that worked up about something. I am a very patient guy, so that’s one thing I’ve got going for me. But I’m not going to lie, patience can only go so far sometimes too. You do snap, but usually when I do it, not too many people are going to see it except maybe the individual.” I don’t think I’d like to see Sveum snap.
  • Sveum says the Cubs are working with Josh Vitters, but, so far, the youngster is having trouble translating what he learns with the coaches into his actual performance in the games. “I think it’s like anything, adjustments have to be applied in the game,” Sveum said, per ESPNChicago. “We can do all the batting practice and teaching all we want, but if it isn’t applied in the game. That’s where you have to start evaluating. Can people apply it and make adjustments on the fly in a game?” Nudge, Josh. Nudge.
  • Sveum says he doesn’t sleep all that well right now, but he’s not worried about how he’ll be evaluated after the season. Instead, Sveum says he’s just focused on teaching and keeping his coaches’ spirits up.
  • VFTB interviewed Jim Callis about the Cubs’ farm system, and Christian Villanueva, Juan Carlos Paniagua, Albert Almora, Junior Lake, Matt Szczur and more come in for discussion. The most interesting bit is probably where Callis guessed – admitting it’s early – that Villanueva would crack the Cubs’ top 5 prospects when he gets around to ranking. Lock that into your memory bank for a prospect post coming later today.
  • The MLBullets at BCB discuss Brandon McCarthy’s brain surgery and recovery. All appropriate thoughts and/or prayers go out to him and his family. He took a line drive off of his head on Wednesday, in case you missed it (and, having seen it, let me suggest you are probably better off missing it).


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