The Cub and White Sox have both been doing some spring cleaning the last few days as they work their rosters down. There are also a few players who have strengthened their chances to win roster spots or starting jobs.
--Starlin Castro turns 20 this week, but won't be celebrating as a major leaguer. He was sent to Iowa, a bit early for my tastes, even though Ryan Theriot has been the best-hitting Cub this spring and it looked unlikely Castro would usurp his starting role. The veteran infielders--not only Theriot, but also Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker--seemed to take the competition from Castro seriously. I'm betting Castro will be up before the All-Star if an injury or slump calls for another infielder.
--Brad Snyder was sent down, too. Unexpectedly, Justin Berg and Esmailin Caridad look like they will be in Chicago come April.
--I'll bet on Kevin Millar and Tyler Colvin to make the Cubs roster, and Chad Tracy and Sam Fuld to fall short.
--Carlos Silva suddenly is pitching well.
--Old news at this point, but from White Sox camp, 2009 spring training stars Dayan Viciedo and Jeff Marquez have gone to the minors.
--Daniel Cabrera, late of the Orioles, the guy who entices with a rocket arm but frustrates with terrible control, has been released. I thought maybe Ron Cooper could bring something out of him that the Orioles couldn't, but in any case, a fairly insignificant loss for the Sox.
--Alex Rios has been looking better than he did late last season.
--Mark Teahen still isn't hitting. Maybe it's because he no longer faces White Sox pitching. I'm kidding... sort of. He will make the team regardless, but it would be nice to see him get going before Easter.
--Bobby Jenks had an MRI on his right calf, but says he'll be ready to go Opening Day.
How is it that the Cubs are suddenly looking better than the Sox? The Cubs are 11-7-1 this spring and seem to have found pitching depth despite having a key starter (Ted Lilly) and a top reliever (Angel Guzman) out of action. The Sox aren't hitting, the manager is annoyed and possibly distracted by a Twitter controversy and his son's resignation, the closer is not healthy and also seemingly annoyed... Should we re-think our expectations?