Of all the stuff that happens in Spring ball, to me this is about the most exciting.
Kids who come to Spring Training and all the stars align for them to get their chance at the Bigs.
Justin Berg made it into the bullpen about a week ago.
Esmailian Caridad threw about 19 innings last season and even got a win. He's in the pen as well.
But the real drama was with Tyler Colvin and James Russell.
Think of all the stuff that happened here for James Russell - Jim Hendry didn't pull the trigger on a trade for an experienced bullpen guy, Angel Guzman got injured, guys with more experience and expectations didn't do so well, and Russell threw the ball better than he ever had in his life.
He's the luckiest guy on the team (at least until Hendry makes that trade, which I figure he will).
Conversely, Tyler Colvin just came to camp kicking ass and taking names.
Imagine having Lou Piniella say of you, "He's not looking for a roster spot. He's looking for somebody's position."
Gives me goosebumps.
As of right now, he's leading all of baseball with a .468 ST average, he's got 10 more hits (29) than the next leading guy, and the Cubs have played him in 20 games (which means they took a really long hard look at him).
Not bad for a guy who came to camp basically in competition with Sam Fuld as a defensive replacement.
Now, remember it's only Spring Training and of course he's not gonna hit .400. He's not even gonna start but maybe a couple games a week.
But Alfonso Soriano has a history of injury, and even though Lou always gives the big contract guys the benefit of the doubt, this is Tyler Colvin's biggest moment so far. If I'm Lou, I'd get him in sooner rather than later just because he's so hot.
And now there's one spot left for a position guy, and I think it's down to Millar or Tracy or Hoffpauir.
Real baseball starts in Atlanta on April 5th, one week away.
And the home opener on the 12th.
Can't wait, and good luck to The Kids.
Last thing: the guys at VINE LINE finally went online at the Cubs' site, and they put some of my illustrations up there! Go here.
I'm out of here on that crazy business trip again today, back in about a week. Can't wait to tell you some of the stories.