Chat with Bruce Levine
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Baseball beat reporter Bruce Levine stops by Thursday 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 Thursday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
ESPNChicago (1:01 PM)
Hi everyone. Bruce will be along shortly. Lots of news from Mesa today. Keep the questions coming ...
Bruce Levine (1:09 PM)
Welcome to the chat. I'm sure you want to ask about Silva. We'll try to get to as many questions as possible. Welcome ..
Bruce, is Silva going to become a distraction for this team? I predicted last year that at some point he would come unhinged. I worked briefly with him as a trainer, and notice I said briefly.
Bruce Levine (1:10 PM)
Silva has some volatility to his personality. As to whether he is a bad teammate, that's something that only the other 24 guys can answer. From a baseball perspective, he and Wells are still the most qualified to win a job in the rotation but that's not the total picture.
Bruce, people are talking about Castro's lack of focus and concentration for his defensive lapses, I would argue just because he is young and athletic doesn't mean he has the skillset to be a good major league SS(i.e. young Soriano)..What's your take?
Bruce Levine (1:12 PM)
You may be right. Being athletic doesn't make you a quality major league SS. The concentration and being able to think through situations is something that will determine whether he will be a SS or be moved elsewhere. Remember, we're still talking about a 20-year kid with very little experience.
Kevin (San diego)
Should we be consider this earily in the spring about the Cubs lack of defense and the amount of runner they are leaving on base?
Bruce Levine (1:13 PM)
I think if it continues over the next 8-10 games then that could be something you worry about. But this is ealry in spring training. They have 28 games left before the season starts. Let's give them a little bit of a break.
Any chance the Cubs go with Barney at 2b full time? Why not give another club-grown talent a full time job since that's what they're groomed for, and Barney is of winning pedigree, so what's there to lose?
Bruce Levine (1:14 PM)
Stranger things have happened. If you think back to Ryan Theriot being annointed SS in 2007. Nobody saw that coming. But DeWitt and Baker will get a chance to fail before that probably happens.
jason (arlington heights)
can the sox get any relief pitching for teahan since it looks like morel is gonna be at third base this season?
Bruce Levine (1:15 PM)
Teahen has two years left on a contract for somewhere around $10 million. I don't think you get yourself a top-flight relief pitcher for him atr this point. I think he might surprise people with his versatility and his role as a super sub.
David (VA BEACH)
Chances either Jay Jackson or Chris Carpenter make opening day roster?
Bruce Levine (1:16 PM)
Probably not but they will get important inningat at Triple A. The Cubs have to decide whether they are starters or relievers. Both have talent.
Could viciedo really have a future in rf? 3rd seems like a long shot and first/dh is plugged for a few years? CQ is so injury prone that it may become a need area sooner then later
Bruce Levine (1:17 PM)
If he is going to be an outfidler I would like to see him sent to the minors to hone his skills. He can't expect to be any good unless he has time at the position. The kid is a hitter first. What else he will be will be determined down the road.
Dan (Mount Prospect)
With Carlos Silva already acting like a basket case and the Cubs wanting to see what their young guys are made of, what are the chances the Cubs trade OR release Silva this spring?
Bruce Levine (1:20 PM)
Releasing is probably not smart. There are too many teams that need pitching and Silva is a proven if not erratic pitcher. There are teams that were watching him pitch yesterday. Obviously not much of an impression, but keep in mind Silva got blown out in his first spring training start in 2010 and was lights out after that.
How has Samardzija looked thus far Bruce? Also think you were going to follow up from the last chat on a salary question regarding the likelihood he is claimed off waivers. Thanks!
Bruce Levine (1:22 PM)
Samardzija looks OK so far. They are happy with his side sessions. To be claimed off waivers the claiming team is responsible for his $3.5 million salary. If he is not claimed the Cubs can option him back to the major leagues.
Where is Geo going to be batting in the lineup? It would be criminal if our best offensive player doesn't bat in the top 6 in the lineup, yet it appears that Quade is going to have Geo batting either 7th or 8th in the lineup. What gives?
Bruce Levine (1:24 PM)
I guess some would argue that he's not your best offensive producer. However, Soto told me that his goal is to drive in more runs this season. Although he had a decent offensive season, the RBI production was low. I know, maybe nobody was on base but he is shooting to getting back to being the player he was.
Peter M (Quincy)
Earlier you expressed doubt about Cincy's pitching holding up. How do you see NL Central shaking out now with Wainright sidelined? Who's the favorite? Could it be one of those years with a three or four-team dogfight and 85 wins being enough?
Bruce Levine (1:25 PM)
I think so. That's how I look at it. I don't look at any clear-cut 95-win team in the division. All the teams have strengths and weaknesses. But then again I have been wrong many times before.
Bill Rathe (Deer Park, IL)
I heard Soriano is moving a little better this spring..............any chance that he'll steal 25 baes this year?
Bruce Levine (1:26 PM)
In my mind, zero chance. At this point of his career at age 35, you want to save those legs for hitting and defense in the outfield.
Brandon (las cruces, NM)
I haven't heard much about marmol.. How is he looking this spring so far? Is the control looking better?
Bruce Levine (1:27 PM)
He looks fine. He told me he wants to throw fastballs more to get ahead in the count. A lot of people say that his fastball is his dominant pitch, and that he doesn't believe in it enough so he's starting to believe.
Bruce Levine (1:28 PM)
Sorry to cut this short but we have to go into the locker room to talk to Silva. Thanks for the questions. Talk to you Tuesday.