--C Michael Barrett is back in camp after the United States was eliminated in the World Baseball Classic. Barrett and Henry Blanco (who played with Venezuela) both will be able to play a full two weeks of Cactus League games and get used to some of the newer pitchers on the staff -- especially LHP Scott Eyre and RHP Bobby Howry.
--RF Jacque Jones was hitting .421 through 13 exhibitions games, and that could bode well for the team if he keeps it up to open the season. The Cubs are hoping Jones can return to his 2003 form when he hit .304 with Minnesota. He hit .254 in 2004 and .249 in 2005. He likely will open the season batting fifth in the order behind Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez.
--RHP Scott Williamson, who has a 3.60 ERA and a save in five Cactus League appearances, continues to pitch well in the spring, and it will be interesting to see if some of the other teams who showed interest in him will intensify their efforts to try to pick him up -- especially if they want to part with a starting pitcher. The Cubs are interested in keeping Williamson, but with RHP Bobby Howry and LHP Scott Eyre on board, there is an abundance of setup men in camp.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- Day the Cubs were in first place in 2005. It came after they beat Arizona 16-6 on Opening Day, April 4.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's true when they say time flies. You always hear the older coaches and the older players coming in and telling you to cherish the time you have now because it flies, and they were right. They were right." -- Veteran pitcher Greg Maddux, who turns 40 in April.