March 17, 2013 – Cubs TV Lineup vs A’s; Baez and Soler Optioned

Well let’s see what Javier Baez has in store for us today.  The Cubs are in split squad action today, today’s televised game starts at 3:05 PM CST on WGN, and here is how the Cubs will line up.  Speaking of Baez, he and Jorge Soler have been optioned to their minor league teams.  Now games there don’t start for a while either so Baez and Soler might still see some at bats here in camp.  Soler was optioned to single A Daytona and it is expected Baez will join him there shortly.  I must say, Baez and Rizzo hitting back to back in the lineup has me all warm and tingly inside.

  1. David DeJesus, DH
  2. Javier Baez, SS
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  5. Brent Lillibridge, CF
  6. Dave Sappelt, RF
  7. Welington Castillo, C
  8. Christian Villanueva 3B
  9. Alberto Gonzalez, 2B

Scott Baker will get the start.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Javier Baez Hits Walk-Off Homer Against Japan (VIDEO)

This is why the internet is awesome, I’m not in Arizona to see the Cubs top prospects play.  So I didn’t get to see Javier Baez destroy a walk-off homer against Team Japan today, but thanks to the interwebs here it is!  Enjoy!

Thanks for reading,
– George

Albert Almora Breaks Hamate Bone (UPDATE – Surgery a success)

One day after finding out that Junior Lake will be sidelined 4-6 weeks with a broken rib, Albert Almora took to twitter to reveal that he has broken his hamate bone, crap.  Obviously this is not good as the best place for top Cubs prospects in on the field, not off of it in a trainers room.

Almora Crap

We should be getting more info on this obviously as this is a rather big blow to a top three prospect in the Cubs organization.  This is a common injury for baseball players, and sometimes it does require surgery to remove the broken piece of bone.  Recovery time varies, but somewhere between 2-5 weeks sounds right.  The one thing that it does do however, is limit the players power upon return to the game, but again, every player and situation is different.  I’m not going to speculate any further, and will wait official word from the Cubs on this news, and hopefully short recovery period.

(UPDATE)  Cubs beat writers have the story now, so there are few more details.  Almora broke the bone on a swing, and can resume baseball activities in 3-4 weeks, putting his return to the field somewhere near late May.  Really wanted to see him right out of the gate this year as it’s it first full pro year.

(UPDATE #2) Almora tweeted out yesterday that he had successful surgery to remove the bone (you don’t need it anyway) and will look to get back into games somewhere between 4-8 weeks, odds are it will be closer and maybe longer to the 8 week projection.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Rusin Shuts Down Dodgers in Win

Cubs-Dodgers 3-14-13 Header

Full Box Score

  Chris Rusin was outstanding Thursday afternoon, which is nothing new this Spring as he has been nothing short of brilliant.  The lefty is slated to start the 2013 season in the Iowa rotation, and if he has continued success like this don’t be surprised if he is back at Wrigley sooner than later, either starting or coming out of the pen.

Box Score At The Plate

Brent Lillibridge made a triumphant return to the lineup going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.  Welington Castillo got the start behind the plate and was 1-for-2 with a triple, two RBI’s and a run scored.  Luis Valbuena (1), Brian Bogusevic (2), Dave Sappelt (1), and Darnell McDonald (1) had the rest of the runs knocked in.

Box Score On The Mound

As I mentioned, Chris Rusin was awesome.  Rusin tossed five nearly perfect innings, giving up no runs on one hit while walking one, and striking out one.  Raley improved to 2-0 on the Spring with a 0.69 ERA, he has worked thirteen innings this spring and has given up one run.  Drew Carpenter, Jaye Chapman, and Blake Parker all had scoreless appearances in the victory.

Box Score Up Next

Split squad action tomorrow as half the team will face the White Sox on the road, and the other half will face off against Team Japan.  Travis Wood will make the start against Team Japan, and Scott Feldman will work against the White Sox.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Struggle to Find Runs In Castro’s Return

The Cubs lost to the Rockies 2-0 yesterday, that’s alright, because the bigger news was that Starlin Castro returned to the lineup and looked no worse for wear.

Full Box Score

At the plate:

Darwin Barney had a solid day going 2-for-3, Brett Jackson, Steve Clevenger, and Starlin Castro were all 1-for-1, and Scott Hariston tallied the only other hit for the Cubs.  They only managed six all day, and all of them were singles.

On the mound:

Edwin Jackson was stellar, going five innings giving up one run on three hits while walking one and striking out two.  Kyuji Fujikawa had a rare sub par outing as he struggled with command giving up one run in one inning of work on one hit, while walking two and striking out two.  Cory Wade, Carlos Marmol, and Jensen Lewis all tossed scoreless, uneventful innings in the loss.

Spring Record: (7-11)

Up Next:

Cubs face the Dodgers, and Chris Rusin gets the ball, Rusin has been pretty darn good so far this Spring, and is slated to join the Iowa rotation this year.

Thanks for reading,
– George

March 11, 2013 – Cubs Lineup vs D-Backs

The Cubs take on the Diamondbacks today, Jeff Samardzija will get the start and we will hopefully see the longest start of the Spring.  MLB.com has a free webcast of today’s game with Len Kasper handling the broadcast (audio only) beginning at 3:10 PM CST.  Here is how the Cubs will get things started, the ever exciting Javy Baez gets the start at shortstop today.

DeJesus CF
Barney 2B
Schierholtz RF
Soriano LF
Valbuena 3B
Castillo C
Baez SS
Clevenger 1B
Samardzija P

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Make Second Round of Cuts; McNutt Included

As we inch towards opening day we will be seeing more of these reports, these are both good and bad, good meaning we are finally getting an idea of what the roster might look like, bad because, well, being cut isn’t a bad thing, it’s a developmental step, yeah that’s it.  Today the Cubs announced they have sent six players back to various levels of their system, five pitchers and one position player.  We will start with the position player, Logan Watkins, a guy I really like, and I think the Cubs do as well as he is versatile in that he can play a number of infield spots.  It looks as though he will start the 2013 campaign in Iowa as the starting second baseman, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at Wrigley at some point this year.

Now let’s discuss the pitchers that were sent packing.  Brooks Raley, who started a few games for the Cubs at the end of last year will be headed to Iowa, and most likely be in the rotation there.  Raley had logan-watkins-nick-struckan opportunity to crack the roster coming out of camp but had a less than memorable Spring up to this point.  Alberto Cabrera, who the Cubs are trying to morph back into a starter will also take up residence in Iowa, like Raley, there was an outside shot of Cabrera making the team as he saw time with the Cubs last year, but a bad Spring  forced the Cubs hand.  The 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year in the Cubs organization,  Nick Struck, was also sent home from camp today.  Struck had a decent Spring and will look to build off an impressive 2012 this year, most likely in Iowa, yes that staff is pretty full already.  Robert Whitenack, who spent much of 2012 coming back from Tommy John surgery, was another one of the cuts.  Whitenack is intriguing, as many people in the organization like his arm, and ability, it’s now a matter of regaining confidence post surgery and I think that is what is holding him back.  Whitenack is someone to pay attention to as he is already on the Cubs 40-man roster, my guess is he starts a AA Tennessee, that might be a little advanced for him, but he has to show the Cubs organization that he belongs.

The final cut is probably the most notable, Trey McNutt, and his beard.  McNutt Trey  McNuttwas a pitching prospect for the Cubs before they restocked with other pitching prospects, if that makes sense.  McNutt, originally a starter has become seemingly more valuable out of the bullpen, that made it realistic for him to break camp with the Cubs and be another solid arm in the pen.  With him being cut from camp I would think the Cubs would like to see what he can do strictly as a reliever at AAA Iowa, I think that McNutt has a future with the Cubs, and I think it’s out of the pen, but time and performance will tell.  The Cubs roster now stands at 53, as I said, inching closer to that magical 25 number for April 1st.

Thanks for reading,
– George