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On Tuesday, the Cubs announced that they had extended spring training invitations to 19 non-roster players. The 19 include reliever Chad Fox, who appeared in 11 games for the Cubs in 2005 (1 save, 6.75 ERA in 8 IP) before blowing out his elbow. Fox, who hasn't pitched in the majors since sustaining that injury, was signed to a minor league deal last Friday and promised a chance to make the team this spring in Mesa.

Other notables--or at least semi-notables--include Koyie Hill, who was briefly Carlos Zambrano's very most favorite catcher last season, and outfielder Tyler Colvin, the Cubs' first-round pick in the 2006 draft who finished last season at Class AA Tennessee.

Another interesting name is Jose Ceda, the radar-gun-intimidating relief pitcher picked up in the trade that landed Todd Walker in San Diego in July 2006. Ceda was touched for just 14 hits in 46 1/3 IP last season at Class A Peoria, and in his last 23 1/3 innings, he held opponents to no hits. That's 'no' as in zero.


Most thrilling piece of information contained in Tuesday's announcement: pitchers and catchers report to Mesa in 29 days.


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