Chicago Cubs Await New Season, Fill Rosters For Spring Training

Damen JacksonCorrespondent IFebruary 13, 2009

Source:AP, 2/13/09

You know, the only thing better than the beginning of spring training is the first pitch of a new season and the last out of the World Series to determine the winner.

Not that I, as a Cubs fan, would know anything about that.

The First practice is tomorrow, and I’m dreaming of summer already.

But with the beginning of spring training, Chicagoans put aside all the memories of the last year, our cynicism about the offseason signing—watch how many fans change to the Bradley bandwagon—and start deluding ourselves that winter in Chicago is almost over.

So, while the staff spends the day unpacking, let’s take a look at the Spring Training roster.

New Faces

Paul Bako
Milton Bradley
Joey Gathright
Kevin Gregg
Aaron Heilman
Aaron Miles
David Patton
Richie Robnett
Brad Snyder
Jeff Stevens
Luis Vizcaino

The Departed

Henry Blanco
Ronny Cedeno
Mark DeRosa
Jim Edmonds
Rich Hill
Bob Howry
Jason Marquis
Daryle Ward
Michael Wuertz
Kerry Wood

The hopefuls (non-roster invitees)

Edward Campusano    
Esmailin Caridad  
Andrew Cashner  
Chad Fox  
Ken Kadokura  
J.R. Mathes  
Rocky Roquet   
Matt Smith   
Mike Stanton   
Jason Waddell   
Bill White        
Welington Castillo   
Steve Clevenger  
Mark Johnson    
Darwin Barney   
Andres Blanco  
Luis Rivas   
Bobby Scales        
Doug Deeds  
Jason Dubois  
So Taguchi

I’m still amazed at the amount of turnover that took place within a single offseason. Nevertheless, it’s a good team; good, but not deep.

Looking over the personnel closely, I’ll make three early predictions: Jeff Samardzija will be the fifth starter, Lou Piniella anoints Kevin Gregg the closer, and Andres Blanco takes the 25th spot on the roster.

I'm looking forward to the regular season.