With cuts coming, it's decision time for Cubs


With cuts coming, it's decision time for Cubs

Monday, March 21, 2011
Posted 6:42 p.m.

By Patrick Mooney

TEMPE, Ariz. Mike Quade doesnt act like the smartest guy in the room, and he genuinely enjoys the give and take within every argument. But the Cubs manager might not get everything he wants.

Behind closed doors on Tuesday morning, Quade will meet with general manager Jim Hendry, assistant general manager Randy Bush, pitching coach Mark Riggins and bench coach Pat Listach.

Together they will break down the entire roster, identifying who still has a chance to make the team and who doesnt. They will analyze the depth at each position and rank players. They will assess the entire pitching staff and make contingency plans, in case someone gets injured.

You try to look at every angle, every possibility, Quade said. The picture (should) be a lot clearer (by) Wednesday after weve had a chance to digest this and figure out what were doing.

When the decision-makers walk out of that meeting, they will be some 240 hours away from Opening Day. This is what they will be talking about.

Blake DeWitt

Cubs staffers rave about DeWitts work ethic. On a recent morning at HoHoKam Park, DeWitt was the only player on the field, taking grounders from coach Ivan DeJesus and throwing to Listach at first base.

The 25-year-old DeWitt is a former first-round pick and a left-handed bat, but sources confirm that hes not yet out of minor-league options. Hes hitting .163 this spring, while utility infielders Jeff Baker (.395) and Darwin Barney (.371) make claims on the second-base job.

DeWitt is not a naturally gifted defender and needs to work on his double-play pivot, especially after spending so much time playing third base with the Dodgers. Quade was asked if DeWitt still has a spot on the roster.

Right now he does, Quade said, but theres some guys pushing him, and we aint left yet, so well see.

Reed Johnson

The fifth outfielder looks like it will be Johnson, who becomes a free agent if he doesnt make the club but will likely force the Cubs to make a change to their 40-man roster.

The 34-year-old is hitting only .206, but hes remembered as a key contributor to the 97-win team in 2008 and a solid veteran presence.

Fernando Perez, who turns 28 next month, might be the fastest guy in camp. But he has struggled at the plate (.161) and committed two errors in the outfield, showing that the rest of his game may need to catch up to his speed.

Im still learning about Fernando, Quade said. Thats a much tougher feel for me than Reed. I think we have a real feel for who he is, no matter what takes place.

Welington Castillo

A month away from his 24th birthday, Castillo is hitting .706 and has displayed what Quade calls a game-changing arm. But the Cubs view Geovany Soto as a foundation piece, so the young catcher can either sit the bench at Wrigley Field or play every day at Triple-A Iowa.

Koyie Hill has gone 1-for-27 (.037) so far, but is well-respected for how he handles the pitchers and what he does behind the scenes. The Cubs place a high value on his experience.

With Castillos bright future in mind, Quade has a good feel for what should be done.

Wow, hes a talented kid, Quade said. Hell continue to mature and if he can handle the mental part of the game, I think weve all watched some pretty darn good physical tools.

This meeting will take place the day before Carlos Silva is scheduled to throw again, and the Cubs will have to figure out how to salvage a pitcher guaranteed 13.5 million. Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner appear to be the fourth and fifth starters.

Braden Looper and Todd Wellemeyer are non-roster players with long resumes that could get consideration as the long man. James Russell, who was being stretched out, threw about 10 pitches on Monday in a minor-league game, which shows he could again be part of the Cubs bullpen.

Whatever the group decides, Quade will have to make the pieces fit.

Quade has been fired from other organizations for speaking his mind. But he enjoys a close relationship with the front office, and helped them out by pushing young players late last season. This is, after all, Hendrys hand-picked manager. They share a similar enough philosophy.

I expect the facts to win out in all these situations, Quade said. I have no doubt that people will enlighten me (about) contractual issues (and) options. All I can do is take a look at what Ive seen (here in Arizona and) in the past.

I (dont) have to (decide everything). Im not an ego guy. I want to do the right thing. I understand theres a lot more than just my opinion involved here.

PatrickMooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. FollowPatrick on Twitter @CSNMooneyfor up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Cubs set World Series roster, complete with Kyle Schwarber

Cubs set World Series roster, complete with Kyle Schwarber

CLEVELAND - The Chicago Cubs set their 25-man roster for the World Series Tuesday morning.

There's a phrase a lot of Cubs fans may have thought they'd never be reading.

The World Series kicks off Tuesday night in Cleveland as the Indians and Cubs square off in a Game 1 matchup between Corey Kluber and Jon Lester. 

And with the roster announcement comes the official declaration that Kyle Schwarber will be back in a uniform and will take the field as an active player.

Schwarber, rehabbing from a torn ACL and LCL in the first week of the season, spent the last couple days seeing live pitching and getting some game action in the Arizona Fall League. He flew to Cleveland Monday night to get ready for the World Series.

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

To add Schwarber - the franchise leader in postseason home runs - to the roster, the Cubs removed left-handed relief pitcher Rob Zastryzny from the NLCS roster. Zastryzny was added as another weapon to combat all the Los Angeles Dodgers' left-handed hitters, but the rookie never got into a game.

Here's the rest of the Cubs World Series roster:


Willson Contreras
Miguel Montero
David Ross


Anthony Rizzo
Kris Bryant
Javy Baez
Addison Russell


Dexter Fowler
Jason Heyward
Ben Zobrist
Albert Almora Jr.
Chris Coghlan
Kyle Schwarber
Jorge Soler


Jon Lester
Jake Arrieta
Kyle Hendricks
John Lackey


Aroldis Chapman
Hector Rondon
Pedro Strop
Carl Edwards Jr.
Justin Grimm
Mike Montgomery
Travis Wood

Schwarber is listed as an outfielder, but he will almost assuredly not play the field and act simply as a designated hitter during games in Cleveland or a pinch hitter in Chicago.

Zobrist spent most of the season playing second base, but he's been in the outfield almost exclusively in the postseason in order to get Baez - the breakout star of October - into the lineup every day.

The Cubs released a hype video for Schwarber's return:

The Indians also released their roster, with their own injured star (pitcher Danny Salazar) returning as well:


Yan Gomes
Roberto Perez


Jason Kipnis
Francisco Lindor
Mike Napoli
Jose Ramirez
Carlos Santana
Michael Martinez


Lonnie Chisenhall
Coco Crisp
Rajai Davis
Brandon Guyer
Tyler Naquin


Corey Kluber
Josh Tomlin
Trevor Bauer
Ryan Merrit


Cody Allen
Andrew Miller
Bryan Shaw
Danny Salazar
Mike Clevinger
Jeff Manship
Zach McAllister
Dan Otero

Morning Update: Cubs open World Series tonight; Hawks lose in shootout

Morning Update: Cubs open World Series tonight; Hawks lose in shootout

Here are some of the biggest stories from the day in Chicago sports:

Complete Cubs-Indians World Series Game 1 coverage on CSN

Blackhawks get a point but Kris Versteeg wins it for Flames in shootout

Cubs see Kyle Schwarber looming as potential World Series hero

Five Things from Blackhawks-Flames: Same old story on the penalty kill

Local product and former fan Jason Kipnis has 'zero conflict' extending Cubs' World Series title drought

Bears get Jay Cutler back as QB competition with Brian Hoyer fades to black

No-brainer: Cubs rolling with Jon Lester again in World Series Game 1

The making of a superstar: Kris Bryant believes in Cubs — not goats or curses

What can the Cubs expect from the Cleveland Indians in the World Series?