Maine, Berg among four cut from Cubs' roster

Maine, Berg among four cut from Cubs' roster

Maine, Berg among four cut from Cubs' roster
MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs trimmed four pitchers from the Spring Training camp roster, including lefty Scott Maine and right-hander Justin Berg, on Wednesday.

Maine and Berg were optioned to Triple-A Iowa, while Todd Wellemeyer and Angel Guzman were both assigned to the Minor League camp. Guzman is rehabbing from right shoulder surgery and scheduled to throw in a game next week. Wellemeyer was a non-roster invitee, and has pitched in three games, his last on March 12. He had been slowed by a sore right hip but the Cubs would like to get him one more inning in a Cactus League game before spring ends.

"I look at [Wellemeyer] the same as I look at Augie [Ojeda]," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "They're valuable pieces of the organization. Them trying to get ready quickly and having them regressing is not going to help anybody."

Ojeda, a veteran infielder, has been slowed because of back spasms.

Quade said he'd like to finalize the roster before Sunday, when the moving truck is to arrive and pick up the players' personal gear for Chicago.

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Berg, 26, had three stints with the Cubs last season, and this spring had given up 10 earned runs on eight hits over four innings, although seven of those were in one outing. He had difficulty keeping his pitches down consistently.

The trimming of Maine makes it appear that the Cubs will have three lefties in the bullpen in John Grabow, James Russell and Sean Marshall. But Quade said that's not automatic.

"The luxury of having three [left-handers] is great," Quade said. "I'm looking at that seriously but I'm not ready to say that's going to happen now. That has to come together with the regulars' situation very quickly."

The Cubs have not yet decided between Carlos Silva, Andrew Cashner and Braden Looper for the final opening in the rotation. That move could affect who will be in the bullpen.

"You need to take the best guys," Quade said. "The luxury of having three [lefties] and the idea of having three is prominent in my mind. It's something I'd like to do. I still want to give these guys a chance to pitch in the next few days."

This was Maine's first big league Spring Training camp.

"It was kind of an eye-opening thing," Maine said. "Next year I'll have a better perspective on things. I'll know I need to get my slider working before I get here. Throwing a breaking ball here is a challenge compared to Florida. I could throw the best breaking ball I ever had in Florida and come out here and be [bad].

"They told me if I keep performing the way I performed last year or do better, they don't see any reason why I won't be up," he said. "Wherever I'm at -- Double-A, Triple-A -- I'll do the best I can."

Acquired from the Diamondbacks for right-hander Aaron Heilman in November 2009, Maine, 26, was called up to the big leagues last season and compiled a 2.08 ERA in 13 games with 11 strikeouts over 13 innings.

"He pitched great for me last year and he's had an OK spring but it's command with him and experience," Quade said. "He was a starter for a long time and is continuing to learn about pitching out of the pen and how to make 18 pitches work for you instead of having 70 or 80 to figure out."

The moves brought the Cubs' roster to 36.

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.