'Concerned' about the offensive line? Not Marshall

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'Concerned' about the offensive line? Not Marshall

On Monday, quarterback Jay Cutler said that the offensive line was a concern as it worked at settling players into positions and coming together. By the time it was flipped and sautd by some commentators, Cutler was concerned about the offensive line.

Not exactly the same thing, but hey.

On Tuesday, wide receiver Brandon Marshall had a precisely opposite slant on the supposed concern. He had tried to drop in and do some drills with the O-linemen during Tuesday mornings voluntary team workouts at Halas Hall and they got on me and threw me out, Marshall said, laughing.

Marshall spent Tuesday afternoon visiting with the kids at UCAN Academy in Chicago, answering questions and giving advice.

He also had a prediction about the offensive line:

When I look over and see our offensive line working, I get chills and get so excited, he said.

Those guys are working hard and I think theyre actually going to be the group thats going to lead us to where we need to be.

So youre not concerned then?

Oh, not at all, Marshall said.

The suspicion here is that neither is Cutler, whose comments had to do with finalizing the front five, injured players like Gabe Carimi and Chris Williams coming back, and how JMarcus Webb pans out at left tackle after a struggling first season switching to left tackle without an offseason of orientation.

One spin of Cutlers comments was that he was going against the need assessments of coach Lovie Smith and coordinator Mike Tice, who have been on record as being comfortable with the players available. Not surprisingly, the Bears did not spend any draft choices on an offensive lineman, finishing with defensive backs in rounds six and seven.

Heres the problem with portraying Cutlers comments as being concerned with the offensive line:

Cutler lobbied for Jeremy Bates twice, first for the coordinator position in 2010 (Bates opted out and for Seattle instead) and again this offseason, with the result that Bates was hired as quarterbacks coach.

If the franchise quarterback had meaningful reservations about his offensive line, beyond the obvious wanting to see decisions on whether Webb or Williams is the left tackle and which of four options emerge as the starting guards, does anyone really think he couldnt have lobbied for something in a draft that saw the Bears take a backup safety in the third round and third tight end in the fourth?

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana was pleased with his final warmup before Opening Day.

The White Sox Opening Day starter threw 48 pitches (30 strikes) against a Milwaukee Brewers minor league team at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. Quintana allowed two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out three in three-plus innings. He next pitches at home on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

"I finished my preparation on a high note," Quintana said. "I'm heading to the season with good energy and satisfied with all the worked and effort that I put in my preparation.

"I'm absolutely ready for the season to start."

A tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday suggested Quintana will start the season as a member of the White Sox despite myriad rumors. Nightengale noted that the Houston Astros refuse budge on what they're willing to pay for the 2016 All-Star. The White Sox have also held firm on their asking price and haven't been motivated by any of the offers they've received to move Quintana.

The team reduced the number of players still in camp to 34 on Tuesday with the trade of Peter Bourjos and by cutting nonroster invitees Cory Luebke and Matt Purke. Luebke, who has been sidelined for six days after he tweaked his hamstring, finished the spring with a 0.96 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. He can opt out of his minor-league deal in May. Purke struck out eight in eight innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA. 

Both had been in the mix for one of two open bullpen spots.

Fellow reliever Jake Petricka looked much calmer on Tuesday than he did after taking a comebacker off his hand Monday. X-rays were negative and Petricka played catch. He hopes to pitch as scheduled this weekend in Milwaukee. 

"This is just one of those you do everything you can do to stay healthy, and its part of the game you can't control," Petricka said. "You never want that to happen, especially this late in camp. "But we dodged a bullet and we're good to go."

The White Sox also had a close call with second baseman Tyler Saladino, who was hit by a pitch in the left wrist in minor league action on Monday. Saladino received treatment and could return to action on Wednesday.

"He's doing good, we're just holding him back today for my well being," Renteria said.

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Renteria said reliever Juan Minaya is improving but still likely to start the season on the DL. Minaya suffered an abdominal tear in mid-March. 

"He has been improving solidly and responding to the treatments," Renteria said.

Yolmer Sanchez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz. 

Michael Ynoa allowed an unearned run and a hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. 

Zack Burdi struck out three in a scoreless inning.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs wrapping up spring training

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs wrapping up spring training

Today on the Sports Talk Live podcast, David Kaplan, Seth Gruen, Teddy Greenstein, and Mark Grote discussed Addison Russell’s injury, if Szczur or La Stella should get the Cubs final roster spot, if the Bulls would be better off facing the Celtics or Cavs in the first round of the playoffs, and Jay Cutler’s butt all over the internet.