The Chicago Cubs unveiled their new spring training facility yesterday. Before we even got to see anyone in action, it was revealed that Jake Arrieta has been experiencing shoulder tightness this winter. Does anyone else cringe when they hear the term “shoulder tightness”?
“We’ve re-started his throwing program but he’ll be a little bit late into camp as far as throwing bullpens and getting into games,” Hoyer said. “No time tables yet but he is throwing and feeling good now. That was something in the back of our minds as we went through this and added some pitching depth.”
The depth of which Jed Hoyer spoke is Jason Hammel and James McDonald, both of whom are now on the 40-man roster.
“He’s a guy who’s had some success in some pretty difficult places,” Hoyer said of Hammel. “He started in Tampa, Went to Colorado and had some success in Coors Field and then obviously had some success in the American League East with Baltimore. We’re excited to get him.”
“James is a guy who we’ve really liked the stuff,” Hoyer said. “He’s dealt with some injuries over the last couple years but he worked really hard this winter. We’ve seen him throw a number of times over the course of the winter and he looks healthy.”
Chris Rusin is still around as a starting option, too. I’m sure that makes you feel a lot better.
In better news, Theo Epstein announced that the Cubs have not already maxed out their payroll budget.
“In the two previous offseasons, we’ve spent every dollar available to us and this is the first winter where we ended up keeping some in reserve to be used on players [that are] hopefully prime age, impact-type players down the road,” Epstein said. “It gives us a bit of a leg-up as we look toward next winter or an in-season move that might make the present and the future better.
“Rather than just spend the money to spend it, if we can book that and have it available to us to sign that international free agent who comes along in the summer or to acquire a player in a trade who carries a significant salary but fits for the long term, or to just start out next offseason knowing we can be a little more aggressive on the guys we really want early because the money will be availble to us, that made more sense than spending the money now just to spend it.”
Does that mean a spending spree next winter?