Chicago Cubs pitchers and catchers are officially supposed to show up for camp on Friday the 13th. But on Thursday, Cubs management got a pleasant surprise when they saw how many players were already ready to get a workout in at the Cubs spring training facility in Mesa, Arizona. Catchers Geovany Soto and Koyie Hill were in attendance. Pitchers Kevin Gregg, Ken Kadokura, Chad Gaudin, Neal Cotts, Jeff Samardzija and Kevin Hart were also present. Others present included Jake Fox, Randy Wells and Wellington Castillo. It’s unclear exactly which players out of this group will make the team, but it’s great to see the commitment and enthusiasm this early in the season.
Kadokura is a long shot to make the team. He is 35 years old, had played for 4 different Japanese teams and was Kosuke Fukodome’s teammate on the Chunichi Dragons.
Chad Gaudin is looking to make a run at the 5th spot in the starting rotation, as is Samardzija. Gaudin has made 50 major league starts, including 34 starts for the Oakland A’s in 2007. Even if he doesn’t secure the spot in the starting rotation, he would make a great addition in the Cubs bullpen. Ditto for Samardzija.
It’s refreshing to see that guys know that they have to compete for a spot and are willing to do whatever it takes to get into the best shape possible to be ready to impress once the spring schedule begins.
Now that camp has opened, we’re sure to have a lot of updates on how things are going for the Cubs in the southwest. Stay tuned to MyCubsToday – we’re locked and loaded for a great 2009 Cubs campaign.