Minors report: Hoffpauir enjoying camp
First baseman making most of unexpected stint with big club
Hot topic: Micah Hoffpauir can't stop pinching himself.
Hoffpauir, a 13th-round pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, was sitting at home when the Cubs opened spring camp, and there were about two weeks remaining before he was to report to Minor League camp. Then, the Cubs called and said, "Get to Mesa."
"I wasn't even getting my stuff together when they called," said Hoffpauir, added because the Cubs brass wanted another first baseman in camp at the last minute. "Physically, I was ready to go. When they called me, I said, 'I have to have a day or so. There were a lot of things I was trying to get done. I was two weeks away mentally from getting ready to go. I said I can make it happen and get there in two days. I went from two weeks to two days really quick."
It's been quite a spring for Hoffpauir, who is batting .313 (5-for-16) in 13 games, hit a walk-off homer, has four doubles and has gotten plenty of playing time. Hoffpauir was the 58th member of the 57-man spring roster, but he survived the first round of cuts.
"I'm having a blast," he said. "It's been a wonderful experience to come out and be part of big-league camp for the first time. It's kind of an eye-opener for myself to say I can play at this level. I appreciate the guys letting me stick around. It's a great clubhouse and a great atmosphere. It's a lot more fun than Minor League camp."
Class of '06: Jeff Samardzija, assigned to Class A Daytona, finished Cactus League play with a 1.80 ERA. He gave up one earned run on six hits and one walk over five innings.
They're No. 1: Tyler Colvin, the Cubs' No. 1 pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, finished Cactus League play with five hits in 16 at-bats (.313), one home run and three RBIs.
On the move: Expect the big-league team to make roster moves after Monday's split-squad games.
On the pine: Left-hander Sean Marshall will make his first Cactus League appearance on Monday, pitching in Maryvale against the Milwaukee Brewers. He's been slowed because of his left shoulder. Marshall, 24, made the Opening Day roster last season despite never having pitched above the Double-A level.
Stat machine: Outfielder Buck Coats, an 18th-round pick in 2000, was batting .406 (13-for-32) with three doubles and three RBIs in 16 games. He's been impressive defensively, playing both left and right.
What they're saying: "The way I've tried to approach it is that it's just another day, and go have fun and play the game the way you know how to play the game. So far, it's worked out really well for me. It's been a lot of fun." -- Hoffpauir, on being in big-league camp
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.