Q&A: Oneri Fleita

Cubs Director of Player Development Oneri Fleita took time out of his Holiday vacation to speak with us about several questions on the minds of Cubs fans this Christmas season.                                      

Q: Losing Andy Sisco and Luke Hagerty in the Rule Five Draft certainly had to sting a little. What was your initial reaction when you first heard they'd been selected?

A: That's what happens when you get better as an organization. We obviously can't keep everybody. We'd certainly like to, but that's just what happens as you get better.

Q: Do you expect to get either back?

A: You know, your hope is always to get them back, but you have no idea what the other clubs have in mind, or if they can find a spot for them on their roster all season.

Q: The question on everyone's mind right now is: is Angel Guzman 100 percent, and where can we expect him in 3-4 months time when the season starts?

A: He is 100 percent. We're not going to put any more emphasis or expections on that. Spring Training will take care of all of those.

Q: Nic Jackson suffered another season-ending injury at Triple-A last year. Have you spoken to him recently and if so, what are his spirits at the moment?

A: He should come to camp healthy. We're really looking forward to having him in Mesa come Spring Training.

Q: Who was most responsible for the Cubs' move back to Peoria in the Midwest League?

A: I'd say both of us really. We knew it was a possibility. We filed before the end of the season, and we knew they filed, so we contacted each other. I think we were a little surprised, as were they, so things just kind of worked themselves out.

Q: When and where can we expect to get a look at some of the premier 2004 draft picks like Grant Johnson and Eric Patterson for the first time next season?

A: For right now, I'll just say Spring Training. Patterson will be competing for a job just like everyone else.

Q: Felix Pie has progressed nicely through the system so far. Are there any expectations on him coming into 2005?

A: I don't know of any more expectations that we can place on him at the moment. He's 19, and has played in Class High-A ball already. He's won at Mesa, he's won at Boise, he's won at Lansing, and he's won at Daytona. Now he's a Caribbean World Series champion as well. We just want to let him be a kid for now.

Q: Both Cladd Blasko and Sean Marshall were injured last season and shut down until the Arizona Fall League in October. How are both pitchers currently doing health-wise?

A: They're both fine and ready for Spring Training. Blasko will probably be a month later than Marshall. You're looking at late April to early May. The problem with him was his shoulder. Some cleanup needed to be done there. As for Marshall, he's 100 percent and will be ready by next spring.

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