Tagged: Junior Lake

Opening Night Roster Taking Shape

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The Cubs have been busy so far today, mostly off the field.  The club has announced that Brian Schlitter, Junior Lake, and Zac Rosscup have all been optioned to Iowa.  The news was expected for the most part as all three guys have options left, but there was an outside chance that Lake would make the team.  What this does mean is that Matt Szczur is all but a lock for the opening night roster, as Cubs beat writers pointed out on twitter, it’s down to three guys for two spots (Szczur, Sweeney, and Herrera).  I think Szczur and Jonathan Herrera have the edge right now, Szczur can play all over the outfield with a tremendous glove, and Hererra would be only the second guy off the bench that can play the infield.  This leaves Sweeney as the odd man out, the only thing that he really brings to the table is the left handed bat, but I don’t think that is enough to keep him around.  The Cubs also made it clear today that they will be starting the season with three catchers, so Miguel Montero, David Ross, and Welington Castillo will all be in Chicago.

The bullpen is also starting to come together, but the question of what do with Edwin Jackson remains.  Jackson will not be a member of the five man staff, and will not act in some sort of piggyback role with Travis Wood, so what to do?  The Cubs have already made a huge financial commitment to Jackson so cutting him doesn’t seem to be an option, but the Cubs could admit the mistake and move on.  If I had to guess, I think that Drake Britton will be waived, and the bullpen will have Jackson as a long guy which means the Cubs will carry only one left-handed arm in the pen, Phil Coke.  Still a lot to figure out as we are now only four days from the start of the season.

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Hammel Leads Cubs Back Into Win Column

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Full Box Score

Jason Hammel cemented his status as the Cubs number three starter this afternoon by baffling the defending AL Champ Royals in a 4-3 win.  Hammel was brilliant going four scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out three, the outing lowered his spring ERA to six, it’s been rough.  Phil Coke, Zac Rosscup, and Stephen Perakslis all had scoreless outings with Perakslis nailed down the save.  Anthony Rizzo who has struggled in finding his timing this spring had a solid game, he went 2-for-2 with an RBI, his second of the spring.  Junior Lake, Starlin Castro, and Jonathan Herrera all chipped in with one RBI each in the win.

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Spring Fever – March 17, 2015 (Cubs Lineup, Broadcast Info)

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day, if you’re into that kind of thing.  Jason Hammel gets the ball for the Cubs as the host the defending AL champ the Kansas City Royals, still sounds weird saying that.  First pitch today is at 3:05 PM CST, there is no TV that I’m aware of, but the game can be heard through mlb.com.  It’s been a rough spring for Hammel, I don’t think it’s more than just working on his stuff, but it would be nice to see him find a groove today.  Three big surprises from camp so far are in the lineup today, Mike Olt, Junior Lake, and Matt Szczur, all are fighting for spots on the opening day roster.

1. Fowler – CF
2. Denorfia – DH
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Castro – SS
5. Montero – C
6. Lake – RF
7. Baez – 2B
8. Olt – 3B
9. Szczur – LF

SP – Jason Hammel

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Spring Fever – March 14, 2015 (Cubs Lineups, Broadcast Info)

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Two more games today as the Cubs take on the Athletics at 2:05 PM CST in Vegas, and also battle the Brewers at 3:05 PM CST.  Kyle Hendricks gets the ball against the A’s, the game can be listened to through mlb.tv, but there is no TV.  Back in Arizona, Edwin Jackson will take the mound against the Brewers, the game can be watched, and listened to on mlb.tv with a subscription.  It’s a big start for Jackson as he needs to show this coaching staff something or else he will not be in the rotation, I still think he loses out to Travis Wood.

vs. Athletics – 2:05 PM CST -Vegas

1. Fowler – CF
2. Rizzo – DH
3. Soler – RF
4. Bryant 3B
5. Lake – LF
6. La Stella – 2B
7. Valaika – 1B
8. Teagarden – C
9. Herrera – SS

SP – Kyle Hendricks

@ Brewers – 3:05 PM CST

1. Coghlan – LF
2. Alcantara – 2B
3. Castro – SS
4. Sweeney – DH
5. Olt – 3B
6. Baxter – 1B
7. Castillo – C
8. Chambers – RF
9. Szczur – CF

SP – Edwin Jackson

Some things to keep an eye on for today.  Both Matt Szczur, and Junior Lake have had a really good spring, both guys are vying for bench spots on the 2015 opening day roster.  While I think Szczur has the edge because of his defense, I’ve been very impressed with Junior Lake’s purpose at the plate, it clearly has carried over from Winter League ball.  Joe Maddon said not to read too much into Rizzo batting second, and he’s there again today, so start reading into it.  Mike Olt is getting every day at bats right now because he has earned them, he’s winning the third base job with his Spring so far, he needs to keep progressing to nail it down.

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Hammel Time as Cubs Outlast Pirates

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Full Box Score

Two games into his Cubs career, Jason Hammel is 2-0, both wins coming against the NL Central rival Pirates.  Hammel was brilliant once again, as he worked seven strong innings, giving up three runs on three hits (all solo HR’s, more on that later), while walking one, and striking Olt Hr 4-9-14out six.  Pedro Strop made things interesting in the ninth as he gave up two more solo home runs to make things closer than they needed to be.  The Pirates had six hits tonight, five of which left the ballpark, and the Cubs still won, baseball.

More good signs from the Cubs offense in this one as well, the Cubs scored seven times on fourteen hits in the win.  (Insert Emilio Bonifacio had two hits sentence).  Anthony Rizzo is scorching hot right now, he went 4-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored, he’s now hitting .375 on the season.  Mike Olt, finally getting a start, responded in a big way, he went 2-for-5 with his second home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored.  Same goes for Junior Lake, as he went 1-for-4 with his first home run of the season, two RBI’s, and a run scored.

Tomorrow should be a dandy, as Travis Wood battles Gerrit Cole in the rubber game.

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Game Highlights:

Ruggiano’s RBI Double
Tremendous play by Castro
Mike Olt’s big two-run HR
Junior Lake goes back-to-back with Olt

** PHOTO CREDIT: BRIAN KERSEY/GETTY IMAGES

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Spring Fever: Cubs lineup, Broadcast Info for March 5, 2014

The Cubs go for their third straight win this afternoon as they take on the Rockies at Cubs Park in Mesa.  Jeff Samardzija will make his second start of the spring looking to build on his strong debut from last week, expect three to four innings for Shark.

1.  Kalish – LF
2.  Valbuena – 3B
3.  Lake – CF
4.  Roberts – 1B
5.  Baez – SS
6.  Kottaras – C
7.  Jackson – RF
8.  Valaika – 2B
9.  McDonald – DH

SP – Samardzija

The Cubs bench looks a little more exciting than the lineup:

  • Baker
  • Lopez
  • Watkins
  • Coghlan
  • Alcantara
  • Flores
  • Cunningham
  • Olt
  • Almora
  • Soler
  • Villanueva
  • Szczur
  • Bryant
  • Vitters

No TV today, but there it MLB.com radio.

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The Cubs no hit streak contest; Standings!

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Junior Lake owns the no hit streak contest, as you can tell by the graphic above.  Yesterday he came through again in the first inning to reward the players that picked him.  What is “inner-sting” as Keith Moreland would say, is that a lot of people that normally pick Lake went a different direction yesterday, oops.  Full standings below, get your picks in today we only have 12 days left!

8-19 standings (1)8-19 standings (2)

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