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Cubs trim five from spring roster

Cubs trim five from spring roster

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Cubs trimmed the spring roster on Tuesday, sending outfielders Sam Fuld and Eric Patterson to Triple-A Iowa, and assigning pitcher Les Walrond and infielders Micah Hoffpauir and Casey McGehee to the Minor League camp.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said that Patterson impressed the team with his versatility. He played both second and in the outfield, and batted .298 in 20 games.

"He's a kid. We wouldn't be concerned with one bit, if we had to call up somebody," Piniella said.

Hoffpauir finally got a day off on Tuesday. He played every day in spring, and was batting .382. A left-handed bat, he will likely play more outfield in the Minors as well as first base.

McGehee, who hit .417 in 20 games, was used at first, third and as a catcher.

"I think the biggest development with him is that he's caught well," Piniella said. "That added versatility is the right ticket to the big leagues as a utility player."

Walrond has been a starter in the Minors, but will pitch more in relief now.

"We like his stuff and like his breaking ball, so he's another kid on the horizon," Piniella said.

Fuld came into camp competing with Felix Pie for the starting center-field job, but hit .161 in 21 games, and suffered a minor hand injury that kept him from playing.

"He had a rough spring," Piniella said of Fuld. "This is his first Major League camp, and it's not easy for a young guy to come in here and compete. Pie has played well and [Fuld] got a little bit behind the eight ball. The experience has been really good for him."

The Cubs also placed right-handed pitcher Angel Guzman on the 60-day disabled list. Guzman underwent Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery last fall, and has been throwing only on flat ground.

Following the moves, plus the addition of Reed Johnson, who signed a one-year contract on Tuesday, the Cubs now have 32 players in camp, including 17 pitchers, two catchers, eight infielders and five outfielders.

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

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