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Friday, March 30, 2012
Bullpen chase gets narrowed by one

By Doug Padilla

MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs bullpen battle lost another combatant as Frankie De La Cruz was sent over to minor-league camp and he is not expected to make the Opening Day roster.

Officially, the Cubs have not made a move and their big-league camp roster is still at 31. The move doesn’t even rule out the possibility that De La Cruz could appear in a Cactus League game before camp breaks next week, although that seems unlikely.

The right-hander was acquired off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers on March 16. He made two scoreless appearances, but he did allow an inherited runner to score in his first one on March 22 against the Rangers.

De La Cruz is out of minor-league options so the Cubs would have to get him through waivers if they wanted to keep him.

The battle for the final two bullpen spots appears to be down to Shawn Camp, Lendy Castillo and Manuel Corpas. Manager Dale Sveum said Friday that the final bullpen decisions might not take place until Wednesday, one day before Opening Day.