Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Zambrano, Wood, rest of Cubs open camp

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News and notes from the Cubs' opening day of spring workouts Monday:

--A new Carlos Zambrano? As always we won't know until or unless he gets through the whole season without a meltdown. But the difference this spring: No pronouncements of anything new or improved. ``I want to do more on the field than talk. I want to talk with my numbers,'' he said.

--Kerry Wood is back at his old Fitch Park locker stall, holding court on the first day of spring training like nothing happened in Cleveland or New York the past two seasons. Among the things he discussed with today's media pack were the low expectations for the team coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons: ``We have the talent here to raise the expectations. ... We have a good enough team to surprise some people and win our division, no doubt.''


--Nearly a year after major shoulder surgery, right-hander Angel Guzman is throwing from a mound again - stretching to the full 60 feet, 6 inches Monday for the first time since the operation that was considered career threatening. He's still considered a long shot to return to top form, but the Cubs' best reliever in 2009 is on track to pitch a simulated game by mid-March and said the shoulder has ``been feeling great, the last two weeks the best.''

--Zambrano, by the way, is making it clear he wants to make a seventh straight Opening Day start, even if he says he'll understand if Mike Quade opts for Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster instead. ``I finished strong, but there's two more qualified pitchers who can do it, and I'm OK with that if it happens,'' Zambrano said. ``Of course, I want to be the opening guy for the Cubs, but there's nothing I can do about it if he decides on Dempster or Garza. ... It's about feeling good and helping each other.''

-- Carlos Silva was sent home Monday morning after showing up with a 103-degree fever.

--The Cubs debuted the ``10'' sleeve patches they'll wear this season, honoring legendary player and broadcaster Ron Santo, who died in December. ``We'll miss him,'' Quade said. ``Let's win one for him. And I'm not talking about Opening Day.''

-- Who's on first? Outfielder Tyler Colvin finally learned it will occasionally be him for at least a few games this season. Quade caught up with Colvin Monday to let him know he and Jeff Baker are getting looks as backups for $10-million starter Carlos Pena - news Quade told the media a day earlier. ``I'm sure it's not going to be a big role,'' Colvin said, smiling.

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I like the idea of Colvin getting some play at first base.It opens up another way to keep him in the line-up, and if he hits the way he started out last year consistently, the Cubs should score a lot more runs.It also gives Quade a number of more options for outfield juggling.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on February 14, 2011 5:59 PM.

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