2/20/2013 2:26 P.M. ET
Prospects Soler, Baez to play in intrasquad game
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
MESA, Ariz. -- On Thursday, Cubs manager Dale Sveum will get his first in-game look at top prospects Jorge Soler and Javier Baez. The pair will take part in an intrasquad game at HoHoKam Stadium and will hit back to back in the lineup for the Blue team with Soler in left, Baez at shortstop.
The Cubs have 39 Spring Training games, and Soler and Baez will get plenty of at-bats. How eager is Sveum to see them?
"I'm very anxious," Sveum said Wednesday. "Those are the guys you talk about who are on your radar in your Minor League system who have all those God-given tools -- the speed, the arm, the power, hopefully, the hitting ability, meaning OPS and those things, although a lot of that stuff comes a little later in their careers.
"This is pretty special talent and bat speed that those guys have that you want to see in person and at game speed."
Soler, the Cuban outfielder who signed a nine-year, $30 million deal last June, turns 21 on Feb. 25; Baez, who was the Cubs' No. 1 Draft pick in 2011, just turned 20 on Dec. 1. Both will likely begin the season at the Class A level.
The intrasquad game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. MT at HoHoKam Stadium and is open to the public.
White Sox fan as a kid, Bogusevic seeking a spot
MESA, Ariz. -- Brian Bogusevic grew up in Oak Lawn, Ill., and attended De La Salle High School in Chicago. He also was a White Sox fan.
"I went to high school literally across the highway from there," said Bogusevic, a non-roster invitee in Cubs camp. "We used to practice in the parking lot at Comiskey."
He also went to a lot of games on the South Side as a kid. The 29-year-old outfielder is now looking for a job with the Cubs. He came up in the Astros system and was a pitcher from 2005-08, then switched to outfield.
"It was actually their decision," he said of the Astros. "I wanted to do it. I never made it known to them."
He didn't convert because of problems as a pitcher like Rick Ankiel had. Bogusevic was 14-21 with a 5.05 ERA in 77 Minor League games. His former college teammate, Micah Owings, is doing the same thing with the Nationals.
"It wasn't like an Ankiel thing, I just wasn't doing as well, so we switched to see how it goes," Bogusevic said. "It's not like I'd never hit before. I had hit in college."
In his bio, it says Bogusevic pitched one inning last year for the Astros.
"That was a whole different deal," he said. "That was us running out of pitchers. We were down 15 [runs] and we needed somebody to save some arms. I was the guy."
He also was pretty sore after that. He's going to stick to hitting.
Rondon's first throwing session postponed by rain
MESA, Ariz. -- Hector Rondon's first throwing session to hitters was postponed a day because of rain on Wednesday. The Cubs hope to have the right-hander throw early on Thursday. They're eager to get a look at him.
The Cubs selected Rondon in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings, which surprised the pitcher. He was the Indians' Minor League pitcher of the year in '09, leading the organization with 137 strikeouts and ranking fourth in innings.
But Rondon needed Tommy John surgery in August 2010, then fractured the same joint in his right elbow during winter ball in Venezuela in '11. He did pitch in Venezuela this winter and said he's 100 percent healthy and ready to go.
The biggest change he's had to make is from starter to reliever.
"Sometimes it's really hard to come in from the bullpen, sometimes it's easy," he said. "It depends on the situation."
What's helped is that two years ago, the right-hander learned how to throw a cutter, and he's able to get more ground-ball outs. He just has to make sure he's warmed up enough in the 'pen to get a feel for the pitch.
"When you come in to start a game, you have time to be patient," he said. "When you come in as a reliever, you have to be ready right away."
Rondon expects to be used in middle relief, but not throw more than two innings.
"I don't want to overthrow," he said.
• The Cubs announced their 2013 regular-season television broadcast schedule. WGN TV will televise the Cubs' April 1 season opener against the Pirates, and Comcast SportsNet will have its first broadcast the next game, April 3, in Pittsburgh.
WCIU will televise its first game on April 19 when the Cubs play the Brewers at 7:05 p.m. CT.
The Cubs' games have been televised by WGN since 1948 and by WCIU since 2000. This will be Comcast SportsNet's ninth season televising the Cubs.
Len Kasper returns for his ninth season in the Cubs' television booth and will be joined by Jim Deshaies, who has spent the previous 16 years broadcasting the Astros.
• The Cubs will play an intrasquad game Thursday at HoHoKam Stadium, matching the White team against the Blue team. The lineup for the White team will be David DeJesus in center, Starlin Castro at short, Anthony Rizzo at first, Alfonso Soriano in left, Nate Schierholtz in right, Dioner Navarro catching, Ian Stewart at third, Darwin Barney at second, and Scott Hairston as the designated hitter. For the Blue team, Luis Valbuena will play second, Dave Sappelt in center, Welington Castillo catching, Brad Nelson at first, Jorge Soler in left, Javier Baez at short, Junior Lake at third, Brett Jackson in right and Brian Bogusevic as the DH.
• The Cubs moved from Fitch Park to HoHoKam Stadium on Wednesday. Next year, they'll be in a new facility in west Mesa. The team has called this part of Mesa home since 1979.
"Spring Training is what it is in any park," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Here it's a little bit unique because you have to move. My first memory here is when I had to come over here 25 years ago [with the Brewers] to rehab my [broken] leg clear across from Peoria. We shared [the facility] with the Cubs at that time."
The Fitch Park fields will be quiet for a few days. The Cubs' Minor Leaguers begin workouts on March 2. The new facility may be ready for the Arizona Fall League in October, but otherwise will open for Spring Training in 2014.
• The World Baseball Classic rosters were finalized Wednesday, and Rizzo will be on Team Italy. His manager is Marco Mazzieri, who has managed the Italian national team since 2007. He guided the team to the '10 European championship, Italy's first gold medal since '97. Mazzieri played for Italy in international competition.
Former big league manager Tom Trebelhorn also is on the Italian team's coaching staff.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.