Roster Trimmed to 38

MESA, Ariz. – The Cubs trimmed their Spring Training roster by an additional three spots on Sunday, optioning top outfield prospect Felix Pie to Triple-A Iowa and sending pitchers Randy Wells and Les Walrond back to minor league camp.

The Cubs' current spring roster now stands at 38. All 25-man rosters must be finalized by April 2, the scheduled date of the official start to the 2006 regular season. The Cubs will begin their season Monday, April 3 at 1:10 p.m. CDT against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark. The game can be seen on WGN.

Pie came into Spring Training with only a minimal shot of making the Opening Day roster. He was optioned to Iowa, but is expected to make his major league debut some time this summer.

Manager Dusty Baker said, "Unless he plays every day, it's not going to help him. He'll be here playing someday. You can see he's skilled and all of the talent is there. Everybody can see that. It's just that we need to get him some experience."

Pie played in 59 games at Double-A West Tenn a season ago, batting .304 with a career-high 11 home runs in the leadoff spot before a season-ending injury in mid-June would sideline him the rest of the year. He was 10-for-35 (.286) this spring with six extra base hits and six RBIs.

Wells and Walrond also entered big league camp with little shot of making the big league roster. Wells was an all-star last season at Class-A Daytona, where he was 10-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 41 appearances. He earned two promotions to Double-A, but appeared in just six games there. This spring, he appeared in four games with the major league club and allowed two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Walrond appeared in seven games this spring, allowing five runs in seven innings. The left-hander had an up-and-down season a year ago with Triple-A Albuquerque. In 15 starts, he was 4-5 with a 4.57 ERA, 61 strikeouts and 37 walks.

Last week, the Cubs optioned catchers Geovany Soto and Jose Reyes, and first baseman Brian Dopirak to Double-A. Third baseman Casey McGehee and fan favorite Augie Ojeda were returned to minor league camp.

The Cubs also released LHP Russ Rohlicek.


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