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11/16/2006 3:18 PM ET
Cubs invite six to big league camp
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The Chicago Cubs today announced that six players have been invited to big league camp with the club - all of whom have seen Major League action. Pitchers Jason Anderson, Ben Howard, Les Walrond and John Webb, catcher Koyie Hill and infielder Jason Smith will report to Fitch Park in Mesa, Ariz. in February.

Anderson, 27, spent 2006 with Triple-A Portland in San Diego's farm system. The right-hander went 5-2 with four saves and a 3.29 ERA (29 ER/79.1 IP) in a Pacific Coast League-high 60 relief appearances before he became a minor league free agent on October 15. Anderson, who appeared in three games for the Yankees in 2005, owns a 41-29 career minor league mark with a 3.26 ERA (206 ER/569.1 IP) in 275 games (226 relief appearances).

Howard, 27, split the 2006 season at the Triple-A level in Cleveland and Toronto's organizations. The right-hander began the year with Triple-A Buffalo and went 2-1 with 11 saves and a 3.98 ERA (18 ER/40.2 IP) in 34 relief appearances before he was released on July 16. He was signed by Triple-A Syracuse on July 24 and went on to go 1-1 with an 8.83 ERA (16 ER/16.1 IP) in 11 relief outings. Howard made 31 relief appearances for Florida in 2004.

Walrond, 30, was a Cubs spring invitee in 2006 and went on to post a 10-5 record with a 3.98 ERA (59 ER/133.1 IP) in 31 games (20 starts) for Triple-A Iowa. He was selected by the Big League club on August 27 and went on to go 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA (12 ER/17.1 IP) in 10 games for Chicago, including a 3.86 ERA (5 ER/11.2 IP) as a reliever. The southpaw held left-handed batters to a .136 average (3-for-22) in his brief time with the Cubs.

Webb, 27, spent 2006 with Triple-A Memphis in St. Louis' farm system. The right-hander was 6-11 with a 4.18 ERA (82 ER/176.2 IP) in 29 games (28 starts) for the Redbirds. He owns 43-45 career minor league mark with a 4.02 ERA (384 ER/859.0 IP) in 173 games (134 starts). Originally selected by the Cubs in the 19th round of the 1999 First-Year Player draft, Webb has seen action in five Big League games with Tampa Bay over the 2004-2005 seasons.

Hill, 27, was claimed off waivers by the New York Yankees on April 6 of last season from the Arizona Diamondbacks. He went on to play in 20 games, hitting .143 (10-for-70) with five RBI, for Triple-A Columbus before an injured right elbow sidelined him from June 12 through the end of the season. The switch-hitter has played in 50 Major League contests with the Dodgers (2003) and Diamondbacks (2004-2005), amassing a .231 batting average (27-for-117) with 12 RBI. He owns a .277 career minor league average (614-for-2,218) in 599 games.

Smith, 29, was originally selected by the Cubs in 23rd round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft and spent five seasons in the organization before he was sent to Tampa Bay in the deal which landed Fred McGriff in Chicago in August of 2001. The left-handed-hitting Smith spent 2006 between the Rockies and their Triple-A affiliate Colorado Springs. He batted .263 (26-for-99) with five homers and 13 RBI in 49 games for the Big League club while posting a .291 average (41-for-141) with four home runs and 23 RBI in 41 games for Colorado Springs. Smith has seen Major League action with the Cubs (2001), Tampa Bay (2002-2003), Detroit (2004-2005) and Colorado (2006).

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