When Dale Sveum became manager of the Chicago Cubs, he brought along his old pal Chris Bosio to be the pitching coach. Sveum was shown the door after two seasons, but Bosio must have done something right, because he’s still around and ready to turn more pitchers into
flippable commodities valuable contributors to the team.
“We made strides the last couple of years with the maturity of Samardzija, Travis Wood,” Bosio said. “Moving forward, we have another year of experience getting to know these guys and what their capabilities are.
“We have to put them in position to succeed, which, as our fans know from the last couple years, is trial and error.
“The one thing we have is more depth. We have some big arms. We’ve got some athletes and we’ve got some young, talented pitchers coming.”
Bosio is eager to have another left-handed option in the bullpen to take some pressure off of workhorse James Russell.
“Another left-handed pitcher in Wesley Wright helps,” Bosio said. “Russell has had a lot of pressure put on him. He won’t say it, but the last couple years, he’s had  appearances and that’s a lot of pressure to put on a young man.
“More flexibility should translate into more opportunities to win ballgames.”
The Cubs pared their list of arbitration-eligible players to two yesterday.
The Cubs avoided another arbitration hearing on Wednesday by signing outfielder Justin Ruggiano to a one-year, $2 million contract for 2014.
The $2 million salary is almost exactly halfway between the $2.45 million he filed for, and the Cubs’ $1.6 million offer.
The Cubs acquired Ruggiano, who made $494,500 last year, from the Marlins in a trade for Brian Bogusevic. Ruggiano posted a .222/.298/.396 batting line with 18 homers, 50 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 128 games for Miami in 2013.
Now there’s only Darwin Barney and Jeff Samardzija left to sign.