Photos as the Cubs practice at spring training in Mesa, Ariz.

Tommy La Stella showed off a strong arm Thursday as he worked at third base at Sloan Park.

For La Stella, there were no signs of the discontentment that caused him to decline an assignment to Triple-A Iowa for nearly three weeks last summer. Nor was La Stella willing to say what he would do if he doesn’t earn one of the few open spots on an otherwise set Cubs roster.

"I really go one day at a time," La Stella said. "That’s all I can control. The roster is so far out of my control."

La Stella, 28, has one minor-league option remaining but has displayed plenty of desire to earn a roster spot. He has stuck with a diet he started before last season that allowed him to become more agile. He also has worked on improving his arm strength and arm angle to become a more reliable option at third base after spending most of his career at second.

La Stella said he appreciates the support offered by the front office since his departure and subsequent return, and he was delighted merely to be in the dugout throughout the playoffs despite not being on the active roster.

"To get to watch something like that and be a part of it in the dugout was incredible," La Stella said. "The composure those guys played with, given the magnitude of the situation, it was such a privilege to even watch it. And to know that I and the rest of the guys in the dugout had a small hand in it was a special moment."

Man in demand: Manager Joe Maddon was eager to watch left-handed reliever David Rollins, who cleared waivers before rejoining the Cubs as a non-roster invitee.

Rollins, 27, has been designated for assignment six times this offseason.

"I know he had a tough winter," Maddon said. "He didn’t know where he was going to land. He really has good stuff. When you talk to him, he’s a very confident young man. He can really ride an elevated fastball and has a nice breaking ball.

"I want to see him in a game situation. To be sought after by so many groups, there has to be something in there."

Rollins has pitched in 31 games over two seasons with the Mariners, posting a 7.60 ERA.

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