Carlos Silva was removed from his start on Sunday after two innings with tightness in his right quadriceps muscle. Silva was originally scheduled to throw at least five innings as he attempts to win a rotation spot. The veteran pitcher was not thought to be hurt too seriously.
Silva was able to go to the bullpen after coming out of his start and throw 45 pitches. Silva said that he felt a twinge of pain in the quad while warming up in the bullpen before his start. The veteran pitcher said he wanted to stay in the game, but the coaching staff had him come out and throw in the 'pen instead.
Silva calls the injury “just a cramp.”
Cubs management will have a big meeting after the game on Monday in order to discuss final roster spots going toward the regular season. At that time, general manager Jim Hendry will update the coaches, manager and front office on where the team stands on possible trades and options for their 40-man roster. The Toronto Blue Jays continue to scout all of the Cubs’ spring training games, and the Cubs have had their top scouts looking at right-handed pitcher Jason Frasor, a 31-year-old relief pitcher from Oak Forest. Frasor would go right into the role of the eighth-inning set-up man for the Cubs if he is acquired.
Manager Lou Piniella spent time at the Blackhawks-Coyote game with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and his family Saturday night. Contrary to reports, the Guillen family did not teach Piniella how to tweet. However, MLB.com reporter Carrie Muskat did give the Cubs manager a rudimentary quick lesson on how tweeting works, showing him on her BlackBerry. Piniella said he and Guillen talked about Ozzie’s son, Osney, who has accepted a scholarship to Florida State University to play baseball. Piniella is a friend of the baseball coach at the University, and told the Guillens that they made the right choice.
Piniella will pare down his choice of the five rotation pitchers by late this week. “We have Silva going [Sunday], [Jeff] Samardzija on Monday, [Sean] Marshall Wednesday and [Tom] Gorzelanny on Thursday. After that, it’s decision time. We’ll put people in their prospective roles and go from there.” The team’s bullpen will be impacted by Piniella’s decision on March 24. It’s assumed the two starting pitchers who don’t’ make the rotation will go into the team’s bullpen. However, if Samardzija doesn’t make the rotation, the club will have a tough decision to make as to whether to put him in the bullpen or return him to Triple-A Iowa in order to continue his progress as a starting pitcher.
The Cubs left third baseman Aramis Ramirez and the entire starting lineup behind, except for Mike Fontenot at their complex instead of playing in Sunday’s game. Ramirez’s strained right triceps still have him listed as day-to-day.
Veteran Kevin Millar played left field for the first time this spring on Sunday. Piniella was once again asked about his chanced of making the team. “I like chemistry,” Piniella said. “I’ve always like chemistry. I’ve always liked to have teams nice and loose. He (Millar) brings a lot to the team in regards to veteran experience. There’s no substitute for it, especially on a bench.”
Piniella said trainer Mark O’Neil advised him that he could use outfielder Xavier Nady in the outfield sometime by the end of this coming week. Piniella doesn’t want Nady to throw all out, but insists that the outfielder needs to play in order to get his legs game-ready for the season. Piniella said unequivocally, that Nady will be on the 25-man roster, not on the disabled list to start the season.