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March 29, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jesse Rogers, Doug Padilla

Jesse Rogers
  (1:00 PM)

Hi all, welcome to our weekly Cubs chat..Last before the reg season begins..Im spending one more day in the 90's before heading to Pitt for the opener..ready or not Cubs will try to rid themselves of that 101 loss stench of a year ago...roster is basically set...they'll play a couple of exhibitions in hou then its on to the real thing..fire away with questions!

Riley, Dallas [via mobile]

I have a 2-parter: is Darwin Barney a building block for the future like Rizzo and Castro, or is he trade bait? And if he isn't a building block is it possible for the cubs to go after Robinson Cano this winter considering next year could be the season that the rebuilding comes to fruition and we see results with Jackson being up and Baez and Soler likely to be called up next year as well?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:03 PM)

It does remain to be seen if Barney is a long term answer there...if he starts to hit better then he could be because we know defensively he's solid...lets give him that chance..I can understand people's doubts and I didnt see a whole lot in spring training to suggest he jumps ins avg or on-base...if its not him, there are options...baez could move there, logan watkins could mature...as for Cano..its a tough call cause they prob wont be ready to win next year but being that much closer might entice a free agent even if its a yr early..thwy will slo have to break the bank for him..bottom line, they need so much more in other areas that I DONT see that investment happening...thye can get by at 2nd in other ways

Bob (Foley Al.)

Should the cubs take a pitcher at number two in the draft because of the great need or should they take the best overall talent regardless of position?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:05 PM)

Its a good question...they say they will take the best avail but I cant imagine -- if its possible to compare pitchers and non-pithcers -- the differnce being that big and since pitching is such a need I would go that route..Appel if he's avail etc.

Tom (Southern California)

Jesse, (1) Do you think Scott Baker be pitching for the Cubs before July 15th? (2) Who will play more games at third base after July 15th; Ian Stewart, Luis Valbuena, Josh Vitters or Junior Lake? I was told Baker is not close to being ready.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:07 PM)

Boy I need a crystal ball for that one...It is so impossbile for me or anyone to answer the Baker one but Ill go with yes, before july 15 just due to most Tommy JOhn guys these days are back by then since surgery was April 2012..Ill stick with Valbuena for your second question..at least until spet...but thats in flux too..just seems lake needs a full yr and vitters is hard to read...I mean these are tough ones!!

Carl (Central Michigan University)

What do you think about the Cubs future?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:08 PM)

I like the plan...like some of the prospects for sure..but hard to see anything happening before 2015...they will hit up a FA or two like they did with EJAX...but I do like the plan

Eric (illinois) [via mobile]

Is Garza a Cub in 2014?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:08 PM)

No

Michael (San Francisco)

I saw that Arodys Vizcaino was put on the 60 day DL to open up a spot on the 40 man for Moscoso. That only affects his ability to pitch in the majors, correct? Can he still pitch in minor league games?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:09 PM)

Oh yeah, when he's ready he can pitch down there..just needs to be added again if called up, etc.

Larry (Illinois)

Given the fact the Cubs have no true power hitters, they will be hard press to score runs. Would that put the starters in a position where they would essentially need to limit runs scored against them any given game they play.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:11 PM)

Well Sori hits hr's and rizzo and castro will too but I know what you mean..its not enough...of course, cubs need to max out in every area of the game because there is no one are besides maybe infield defense that they are an A+...but the gist of your point is certainly true

Edwin Galletti, Chicago [via mobile]

If these 2013 Chicago Cubs overachieve and find themselves in the playoff hunt much like last years Pirates, will they be players before the trade deadline?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:13 PM)

Ha, yeah. They will be players at the deadline..as in sellers still...its prob a worst case scenario for management though they would never say it...take an extreme example..there is no way in heck if this team is like .500 and contending for a wild card they would trade even one decent prospect for a rental..no chance...maybe add a bullpen pitcher for window dressing or something but no way is Baez going anywhere for quick fix right? now maybe they dont break it up in the same way they would if losing but they arent going to be buyers unless in an extreme situation

Jim (CA)

Hey Jesse, great job so far with the cubs coverage! Over/under for 100,000 times that you will be asked about a Baez call-up this season? Also, any chance that you will personally check out Soler/Baez in person this season? Could be a nifty gimmick if this season shakes out similar to last.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:14 PM)

Either I or Bruce or going to suggest to our bosses a minor league excursion to Daytona and Tenn and Iowa so I hope so...and Ill take the over but please dont ask until they at least get to AA...not coming up from A and prob not AA (unless they are pitcher)..more than likely have to hit AAA before even a chance in Chi

Jesse Rogers
  (1:14 PM)

are going to suggest..sorry

jack (Chicago)

is their any chance the Cubs will sign someone off of the waiver wire prior to monday?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:17 PM)

Yes, they have been intimidating it all week just not sure who it is mostly because Im jaded after wathcing Steve Clevenger hit everything in sight both as a starter -- and more importantly -- off the bench over last two weeks...who's better? of course defensively hes nothing special and how many team take 3 true catchers but who cares, this team needs hits and he's been raking...they have talked about Figgins and all that are out there but unless a new name hits the market in next 24 might not happen...I think they may have chnaged their minds cause of Clev as well...we'll see

jack (Chicago)

Does Moscoso actually have a chance of making this team over takahashi?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:18 PM)

Dont believe so..he's not going to Hou so thats the indication I believe...insurance/depth in minors

Riley, Dallas [via mobile]

With Rondon being sent to triple A by Detroit with seemingly no one fit to close on that roster do they finally have interest in marmol?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:19 PM)

I cant imagine a championship caliber team taking a chance on him...I talked to scouts to make sure my eyes werent deceiving me...he had some good moments in spring but you simply cant trust him..heck, the cubs barely do, why would the tigers so Id be surprised...

Jimmy (Cincinnat)

Assuming both play upwards to 155+ games, who do you think will have the better fantasy year? Paulie or Rizzo?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:20 PM)

Another tough one...I have to go with Paulie based on history and the ballpark...in a yr prob will be rizzo

Teddy El Paso, TX [via mobile]

Do you think the Cubs will be a contender this year for the post season?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:20 PM)

Only in a best, best ,best case scenario and that went out the window with garza's lat injury...so no...and even then, prob no

Riley, Dallas [via mobile]

What happens when Jackson is killing triple A but we haven't found a taker for Dejesus?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:22 PM)

Anything the Cubs want...DeJesus sits, is released, jackson waits...Dont think Dejesus would sit until they are out of it or he's going bad so if jackson takes over with him on the team still prob july or later...

Charleston,sc [via mobile]

Heading to Atlanta for nex weekends games... Any ticket hook ups? Thanks guys!!

Jesse Rogers
  (1:22 PM)

No, but I cant imagine with the final four there it owuld be hard to get cheap seats for sat game...heck I might go to the final four instead..why not a day game atl???

Michael W (Portland, OR)

Saw your response about 3rd base/Clevenger. I don't see it happening, but I'd like Clevenger to get at least half of the at-bats at 3rd base. I know he hasn't played it much, but I like his bat as well. I hope, at the very least, that Clevenger gets a lot of at bats this year, no matter where he plays...3rd, 1st or catcher.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:23 PM)

No chance at 3rd...and very little at first...pinch hit and maybe catcher

CC (Atlanta)

Most years there is *some* hope going into the season before we tank. This year we have no starting P, no bullpen and outside of 2-3 regulars, a weak lineup. This is depressing.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:26 PM)

I could give you some better case scenarios...bullpen is fine if marnmol doesnt blow up..hes the only one I have doubts about...top 4 in lineup are fine especially IF Dejesus keeps it up...great great spring...SCHIERHOLTZ in the 5 hole is HUGE...and he might fit well in wrigley..gap hitter.not looking to pull the ball out of the park..hard to do for lefty at wrigley espefially early...infield defense very good, outfield defense just ok...the rotation is the one thing..and of course thats the most important...and bottom of lineup is questionable so I can only go so far!!

TigerT (Vernon Hills)

With Spring Training in the books, is it safe to say the Cubs off-season moves (and lack of moves) were an unmitigated disaster?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:29 PM)

well, no, cause spring doesnt mean anything...BUT it isnt setting up well...I dont count baker anything, if he wasnt never signed no one would be clamoring for another starter...he's a roll of the dice.. what third baseman was so good you had to have over stewart? so I know that wasnt popular but third base is VERY THIN around baseball...now, Feldman is the one..thats all scouting and decision making, etc. If that blows up then criticize away..not much you can do about garza..signed him to one year and you had to or else big hole there,etc. schierholtz/hairston, in same category as feldman...on them if it doesnt work out..so thats how I look at it

Jesse Rogers
  (1:30 PM)

was never signed..sorry typing fast

Jesse Rogers
  (1:32 PM)

Thats it for cubs talk...Doug up next with sox...follow me on twitter this season @espnchicubs...and tons of stuff in the blog everyday starting next week...audio, video, articles, etc...with players,etc helping out in these chats and more...next week we'll chat from Atlanta..enjoy the season...just getting going!! and keep up with espnchicago.com everyday. Thanks folks..Cubs fans are the MOST loyal...we all know that!

Jesse Rogers
  (1:32 PM)

Thats it for cubs talk...Doug up next with sox...follow me on twitter this season @espnchicubs...and tons of stuff in the blog everyday starting next week...audio, video, articles, etc...with players,etc helping out in these chats and more...next week we'll chat from Atlanta..enjoy the season...just getting going!! and keep up with espnchicago.com everyday. Thanks folks..Cubs fans are the MOST loyal...we all know that!