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03/24/09 3:17 PM ET

J. Fox, Fuld among Cubs' roster cuts

Duo sent to Minors camp along with Ascanio, Waddell and Scales

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs sent five players to the Minor League camp Tuesday to reduce the spring roster to 37.

Right-handed pitcher Jose Ascanio and outfielders Jake Fox and Sam Fuld were optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Lefty Jason Waddell and infielder Bobby Scales, both non-roster invitees, were also assigned to the Minor League camp.

Richie Robnett also was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa, a procedural move, so the Cubs' 40-man roster is now at 38.

"Both of them had really good springs," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said of Fox and Fuld, who were trimmed before the morning workout.

Fox batted .350 this spring with four homers and 16 RBIs, while Fuld hit .260 with two homers and three RBIs.

Fox tried to play third base this spring to try to find a position.

"He can swing the bat," Piniella said. "I told him to keep working at first base, a little left field, maybe behind the plate as a third catcher. He's getting to the point where he's getting much closer to the big leagues.

"Sam, what a difference in camp from one year to the next. He came in here relaxed, and to me he was the most improved player from one camp to another. I told him to work a little bit on stealing bases and just keep playing and stay injury free. He's another kid who's not too far from the big leagues."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.