Spring Training Preview
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 14, 2008 4:33PM
Sure, it's still damn cold out. And the snow keeps coming. And coming. But spring is just around the corner. How do we know? Because Spring Training is finally upon us.
The Cubs' pitchers and catchers reported to Mesa on Wednesday and begin practice today, while the White Sox pitchers and catchers are set to arrive in Tuscon on Saturday. Why the Sox waiting another couple days when clearly they're a team that needs all the extra work, we don't know...
The Cubs are flying high heading into spring training, having won the NL Central crown last season. They've also added Kosuke Fukudome to the mix, while ridding themselves of the Mark Prior distractions. In fact, Ryan Dempster has already guaranteed a World Series victory for the Cubs... just like Carlos Zambrano did last year.
Could this really be the Cubs' year? Cubs fans had better hope this isn't a bad omen.
When the South Siders assemble in Tuscon, there will be some new faces but none of those we were really hoping to see. Among the biggest additions are Nick Swisher in the outfield, Orlando Cabrera at shortstop, and a couple new guys in the bullpen.
A number of youngsters who've seen limited duty -- Jerry Owens, Danny Richar, Gavin Floyd, etc. -- will be counted on to become regular parts of the roster as the club tries to improve from last year. While not exactly a rebuilding year, the Sox also can't really expect to be contenders this season.
Two players that the Sox want to move remain with the team for now: Joe Crede and Juan Uribe. Expect Kenny Williams to do everything he can to move them out before opening day. He claimed that if Crede is still in a Sox uni come Opening Day that Josh Fields won't be on the roster as well. He's the one younger player who's proven he's ready, so let's hope Kenny doesn't have to send him down. Could Crede he headed to San Fran?