Chat with Bruce Levine
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox reporter Bruce Levine stops by Tuesday to chat.
Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Tuesday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
ESPN Chicago (1:08 PM)
Bruce is running a little late -- but he'll be joining us soon!
Bruce Levine (1:28 PM)
Sorry for the late start. Was in Cubs camp early and just finished locker room with the White Sox. Ready for any and all questions!
Matty Ice (Chicago)
Do you think media make too much of Sale's arm action and potential for injury?
Bruce Levine (1:29 PM)
I just got through talking to Sale, and he added 15 lbs. of muscle during offseason workouts. Nationally I've heard a lot of negative talk about Sale and his chances of breaking down. I think the White Sox' conditioning and training staff did an excellent job of getting him through 192 innings last season. I have fewer concerns than most.
Any likelihood at all Lohse ends up a Cub on a 1-year deal? Obviously, it would with the intention of trading him. Can't have enough starters.
Bruce Levine (1:31 PM)
Ideally Lohse tries to get himself on a contender. Pitching for a team with challenges like the Cubs might not be the direction that either he or Scott Boras want to go.
Tom (Southern California)
Bruce, why would any team give the Cubs much in return for Garza in a mid-season trade knowing they could lose him in free agency and get nothing in return?
Bruce Levine (1:32 PM)
The answer is that when other teams lose starting pitching they become desperate for quality innings being pitched as they move toward postseason contention. Getting to postseason impacts not only the present year but the following as well. Starting pitching is king.
Sox Fan (Chicago)
Bruce- Any news on Danks' health and the quest for a left-handed bat?
Bruce Levine (1:34 PM)
Just talked to Danks for about 15 minutes. He feels he has no restrictions at this time. He told me he's been throwing breaking balls for the last two weeks with no ill effects to report. He's convinced he'll be one of the five pitchers in the Sox' opening day rotation. Danks' health will determine whether they have a starting pitcher to move and if they can get some help from the left side.
Tom (Downers Grove)
People are downplaying the importance of Navarro coming here and backing up Castillo. Am I the only one who thinks Navarro was a great pick up and could play his way into starting?
Bruce Levine (1:35 PM)
No, you're not--I'm convinced of the same possible result. During his media session on Monday, Cubs' starter Matt Garza went on and on about Navarro's skills as a catcher. At 28, he is hardly just a backup at this point of his career.
Mike H. (St. Louis, MO)
Do you think Baez or Soler might be a candidate for a September call-up this season?
Bruce Levine (1:36 PM)
There's no chance for either one to be called up this season. The Cubs will bring along their top candidates in an orderly and slow pace. They still feel their position players need 500 at-bats at AAA before advancing to the majors.
If we could lock up Garza for a few years at 12-14 mill/per I would be happy but I've read he could ask for close to 20 mill/per.. That seems too high and unfair considering his career so far, I'd rather have a couple quality prospects. Would you still consider keeping him even if he was asking for that much money?
Bruce Levine (1:38 PM)
With all due respect, Edwin Jackson got $13 million per year. Most people consider Garza a #1 or
What does Castro need to work on the most - defense? Taking walks?
Bruce Levine (1:39 PM)
Castro has to be more selective at the plate. On defense I thought dramatically last year. He still needs to concentrate a little harder on the routine play.
Bruce, if you had to make a gut call today, where is Matt Garza on August 1st? Does he have a healthy extension with the Cubs, or is he pitching elsewhere?
Bruce Levine (1:40 PM)
If I had to call it today, I'd say he's pitching for the Rangers or Blue Jays on August 1st. That would have been his destination last July had he not injured his elbow.
Bruce, who has lost 25 pounds and is in the best shape of their life?
Bruce Levine (1:41 PM)
That would be me, thanks to my new workout routine and vegan diet.
Domey Love (NY)
How much will Jordan Danks contribute this year? Is Jared Mitchellclose to coming up?
Bruce Levine (1:42 PM)
Mitchell is still a year or so away. Jordan Danks has a good opportunity to be the 4th or 5th outfielder this year.
I'm really worried, the Twins and Royals have top 10 minor league systems and the Tigers are stacked. My concern is the Sox are neither of these groups which means no immediate or long term future prospects outside of winning 82-85 games. With Hahn in place, does he rebuild through the draft or continue the course of adding pieces?
Bruce Levine (1:43 PM)
The White Sox have begun to build a strong presence again in the Dominican Republic. It has been six years since they were seriously scouting that area. I think you'll see the White Sox building from within and competing like they have done in the past.
is the addition of hairston being over looked? i feel like he'll be a key to the cubs getting off to a good start. and if jackson has a good spring (300+ average) does he win the job?
Bruce Levine (1:45 PM)
Jackson will start the year in AAA according to top Cubs officials. His ascension to the majors will depend on how much contact he makes at Iowa. Hairston quietly had an outstanding season last year. Any time an extra man has 50 extra-base hits, you have a very good player.
Paul (Denver, CO)
What are the chances we see Campana staying in Cubs camp as a non roster invitee?
Bruce Levine (1:46 PM)
I don't think so. Someone will likely trade for him over the next 3-4 days. Campana is a weapon that can help teams win games from the 7th inning on. Some good team will be able to afford him as a 25th man.
paulyb (des plaines)
When Ian Stewart fails again this year, who will be the Cubs everyday 3rd baseman?
Bruce Levine (1:46 PM)
There's always Luis Valbuena. Josh Vitters will continue to hone his skills at AAA as well.
JT (Alliance, NE) [via mobile]
Bruce, in all reality what can the Cubs expect to get in return for Marmol should they decide to trade him? And do you think these recent accusations will have any effect on his value, whether they're true or otherwise?
Bruce Levine (1:48 PM)
The second part of your question is very valid. I asked him about it today at camp. He said he is trying to put the situation to the side as he looks forward to the new season. The Cubs should get a very good young player back at the very least for a guy that can pitch in the back end of anyone's bullpen. Don't be surprised if the Angels rekindle their interest in Marmol. It appears Ryan Madson is still having some issues after missing the 2012 season.
With Campy being DFA'd does that mean sappelt is going into camp with a good shot at that 5th outfield spot or do you think itll be an open competition between him, lillibridge, and Bogusevic?
Bruce Levine (1:50 PM)
Bogusevic and Lillibridge might have the upper hand. I think Lillibridge is almost an automatic to make the 25-man roster. He gives them options at many different positions, as well as at leadoff.
Bobby (Oak Lawn) [via mobile]
What's more likely, Brett Jackson starting after All star break or him being traded?
Bruce Levine (1:51 PM)
I don't see Jackson being traded at all. There is still a tremendous upside with his future. If he can cut down on strikeouts he will be a solid major league player.
Looking back, can the Sean Marshall trade be viewed as a "bust"? Doesn't seem like we received enough back for a quality lefty bullpen arm.
Bruce Levine (1:52 PM)
You have to give Travis Wood one more year to prove that deal no good. He made some solid strides late in the season under the tutelage of pitching coach Chris Bosio.
What are the chances Hector Santiago can hold on as a starter?
Bruce Levine (1:53 PM)
It's hard to tell from his limited starts last season. One thing he did was throw strikes, which is an underrated way to look at a young pitcher.
Bruuuuuuuce!!!Is there a single position player battle this ST? It seems like the bench and the 4/5 starting pitchers are the only real competitions, aside from the bunting contest
Bruce Levine (1:54 PM)
I think the catching job is a real competition. People that assume Navarro is the backup are making a mistake. He could really push Castillo for the starting job.
drew,peoria,il [via mobile]
Do you think sori will wave his no trade clause this year is a west coast team wants him considering he lost a ring last year
Bruce Levine (1:55 PM)
I think if it's a team that's not in a cold weather environment like Oakland or SF he would. Due to arthritis in his leg, he would prefer to play in a warmer climate.
Richard [via mobile]
In your eyes, what are the odds of all 3 of the cubs "big 3" minor league prospects having "great" major league careers? Solar, Baez and Amora.
Bruce Levine (1:56 PM)
Too early to predict anything like that. I haven't seen them play except for Baez in the Arizona Fall League. Let's give them a year or two to develop before we start anointing them.
Jeff. Louisville [via mobile]
Hi Bruce. Enjoying the sun? What cubs starting pitcher will lead the team in wins and how many do you predict? Ps- glad the cubs didn't end up with bourn
Bruce Levine (1:57 PM)
I'm going to predict Garza with 15, but maybe not all of them with the Cubs.
You seriously don't believe that 500 AB's in AAA stuff, do you? AA is much more important for a prospect than AAA. And don't bring up Rizzo because that was just a nice coincidence for avoiding an extra year of arbitration.
Bruce Levine (1:59 PM)
After the Rizzo experience for Jed Hoyer I do believe that 500 at-bats from AAA is something they expect from their top prospects. There's no reason to rush anyone to the majors because the fanbase has waited over 100 years for a World Series title.
Matt D. (Chicago, IL)
Hey Bruce! Excited to get the season going. With the now surplus of CF in Cleveland, any chance the Cubs make a call about Drew Stubbs?
Bruce Levine (2:00 PM)
I doubt it. I don't know what the Indians could ask for in return. The Cubs are pretty much paper thin when it comes to their backups.
Mark (Elk Grove)
Why is it that the Sox get no respect nationally? Baseball Prospectus projected them to finish under .500 even though they filled holes they needed to fill and will hopefully be getting a full season from Danks.
Bruce Levine (2:01 PM)
I still don't know why anyone puts much credence in Baseball Prospectus. Although they have some good people that work there, it's just a baseball way of looking into a crystal ball. Predictions are for people that don't watch the game.
Bruce Levine (2:01 PM)
Sorry for the short session, we'll see if we can do another session late in the week. But for now I have to run to Rick Hahn's media session.