Tracy relieved to make Cubs' roster

Tracy relieved to make Cubs' roster

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Chad Tracy was a little uneasy the last few days as he waited to see if he had made the Cubs' Opening Day roster.

"I've never been in this situation before," Tracy said Tuesday. "As a kid, you're doing the whole big league camp thing and you don't expect to make the team. There's expectations as you progress in your career. It's a little different. I wasn't used to these emotions and getting stressed."

He can relax now. The Cubs picked Tracy for the final roster spot over Kevin Millar, opting to keep a left-handed bat who can play the corner infield spots. On Tuesday, he looked more at ease when he smacked his first spring homer with two outs in the eighth, a two-run shot.

"You never know what to think," said Tracy, who found out before Tuesday's game. "Your nerves are a little high, a little on edge. Now, hopefully, I can settle down."

Tracy had been in the D-backs' system until this year and was a non-roster invitee in the Cubs' camp. How would he assess his spring?

"I'm not going to say it went really well," said Tracy, who was batting .243. "I had some good at-bats, some bad at-bats. I proved I could play third base again, which is one of the reasons I'm still around here now. Hopefully, they have faith I can play either corner and help the team."

Tracy has primarily played third this spring but will start at first Wednesday at Maryvale Baseball Park in one of the Cubs' split-squad games. The Cubs broke camp last year without a legitimate backup at third and it hurt them when Aramis Ramirez missed two months because of a separated shoulder. Ramirez has played 11 games this spring and been slowed by a sore right tricep.

A career .302 pinch-hitter, Tracy does have experience coming off the bench.

"I'm not going to act like I know the secrets to pinch-hitting," Tracy said. "There is something to having the experience and to have seen some of the guys coming out of the bullpen in the National League.

"I've said it all along, it's one of the toughest jobs in the big leagues. The biggest thing is being prepared and knowing what these guys do. The key is being aggressive and going up there and finding your pitch early enough to where he can't get to his stuff where he can get you out. You have to battle. You try not to let him get you before you get him."