Cubs Set Opening Series Rotation

Today, the Cubs announced that Jeff Samardzija will open the season in Pittsburgh, as he did in 2013.  Rick Renteria said it was an easy decision to make, and I would have to agree, Shark is the top guy while he is here with this group.  I’m not sure Travis Wood was given any consideration, but wouldn’t be surprised if he was given his stellar 2013.  Wood will follow Samardzija, and Edwin Jackson will pitch game three in Pittsburgh, just a short 17 days away.

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Javier Baez Goes Deep Again (VIDEO)

It’s been a fun night on MLB.tv as the Cubs future is teeing off on Mariners pitching.  Mike Olt has two solo home runs, and Javier Baez took aim at the scoreboard in left…

Here’s the link, I’ll embed once mlb.com cooperates..

Javier Baez Home Run

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Wood Dazzles, But Cubs Fall to Indians

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The Cubs did a lot of things well today, hitting with runners in scoring position was not one of them.  The Cubs registered nine hits, took five walks, but were a paltry 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and left eleven men on base.  Solid performances up and down the Cubs pitching staff as well, only allowing one run on four hits.

At the Plate:

  • Emilio Bonifacio did well out of the lead off spot today going 2-for-4 with two singles and a stolen base.
  • Anthony Rizzo has had a hot start to the spring, he continued that today as he went 2-for-3 with two singles.  Rizzo is now five for his last seven, and is hitting .500 in Cactus League play.
  • Mike Olt, Logan Watkins, Albert Almora, and Darwin Barney all had one hit in the loss.  Almora got the start in center, and Olt started at third, both went 1-for-3.

On the Mound:

  • Travis Wood was brilliant today, much like he was all of last year.  Wood worked three scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out three.
  • Justin Grimm took the loss as he struggled a bit in the inning he worked.  Grimm gave up one run on two hits while walking one, and striking out one.
  • Hector Rondon, Chang-Yong Lim, Marcus Hatley, and Tommy Hottovy combined to work four scoreless innings, giving up only one hit while walking one, and striking out three (each pitcher tossed one inning).

 

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Spring Fever: Cubs lineup, Broadcast Info for March 6, 2014

The Cubs look to get back into the win column this afternoon after losing an ugly game yesterday to the Rockies.  One of the few bright spots yesterday was Javier Baez, he is not in today’s starting lineup against the Indians.

1. Bonafacio– LF
2. Murphy – 3B
3. Schierholtz – RF
4. Rizzo – DH
5. Cstillo– C
6. Olt – 1B
7. Barney – SS
8. Almora – CF
9. Alcantara – 2B

SP – Travis Wood

It’s almost like Rick Renteria and crew know how badly we want to see most of the top prospects together in the lineup at once and refuses to, but, that’s his job to get everyone ready…. I guess.

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

The snack of the day (Because why not, it’s spring training)!  The always delicious, Star Crunch, enjoy!

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Cubs Lose Slop-fest, But Baez Homers!

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Yeah, slop-fest.  I wasn’t quite sure how to spell that in the title, but it seemed appropriate given that this was, indeed, a slop-fest.  The Cubs only had one error on the day, but the Rockies really messed things up and had five, yet still won the game.  But the news of the day, as it is almost every day, is Javier Baez showing off his unfathomable power, everyone is really excited.

At the Plate:

  • Josh Vitters, hello.  Vitters entered the game in the sixth and ended the day going 2-for-2 with a run scored, and a dropped fly ball, filling up the score sheet.
  • Javier Baez (!), Baez went 1-for-3 with his second home run of the spring season, an opposite field shot which continued to fuel the inter-webs desire for him to start with the Cubs… sorry, won’t happen, hooray team control!
  • George Kottaras has the backup catching spot locked down in my opinion, not only because we share the first name.  Kottaras was 1-for-2 with his first home run of the season, which immediately followed Baez’s shot.

On the Mound:

    • Jeff Samardzija got the start today and was roughed up a bit, but was able to escape with a no decision.  Shark went three innings giving up three runs on four hits while walking one, and striking out one.
    • Jose Veras, the new Cubs closer, worked a scoreless inning, which was a nice rebound after his not so great debut.
    • Pedro Strop also worked a scoreless inning, and didn’t walk or strikeout anyone, madness.
    • Chris Rusin was having a pretty solid outing until he lost command in the fateful seventh inning.  Rusin worked 2.2 innings giving up three runs on three hits while walking two, and striking out one.
    • Armando Rivero continues his push to make the Cubs bullpen with another solid outing, but he did have some trouble to work out of.  Rivero worked a scoreless inning giving up three hits while striking out one.

Thanks to Brett at Bleacher Nation for the video

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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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Mike Olt Powers Cubs to Victory

3-4-14 line score

For the second straight afternoon the Cubs showcased solid pitching, and big power, the result?  Two straight wins.

At the Plate:

  • Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-3 with a double, and two runs scored.  Both hits came off left Tommy Milone, a good sign.
  • Justin Ruggiano went 2-for-2 with his first home run of the spring, three RBI’s, a walk, and a run scored.
  • Nate Schierholtz started in the DH spot today and went 2-for-3 with a double.
  • Mike Olt came up huge today in his only at bat.  Olt hit a two-run pinch hit home run in the 8th to give the Cubs a three run lead.

On the Mound:

  • Kyle Hendricks made his spring debut and struggled with his control but was able to work out of trouble.  Hendricks worked two innings, giving up one run, on one hit, while walking three, and striking out two.
  • Carlos Pimentel was outstanding this afternoon as he worked two scoreless innings giving up one hit, while walking two, and striking out two.
  • Jonathan Sanchez who is vying for a spot out of the bullpen was roughed up in this one.  Sanchez worked two innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking one, and striking out one.
  • Neil Ramirez, and Zac Rosscup each worked a scoreless inning in relief with Rosscup picking up the win.
  • Brian Schlitter worked the ninth for his first save of the spring, but it wasn’t without issues.  Thanks to a couple of errors, including one by Schlitter, the A’s threatened to tie things up.  Schlitter worked one inning giving up one run, unearned, on two hits while striking out one.

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Starlin Castro to Miss 7-10 Days

Starlin Castro had a solid start to Spring Training, unfortunately he will have to wait 7-10 days to build on that.  After getting hit by a pitch in his first at bat yesterday, Castro was caught stealing and apparently tweaked his right hamstring.  He was removed from the game, and the news from the Cubs is that he will be out for 7-10 days.  All things considered, it’s minor, and it’s at the beginning of Spring, so it could be worse, but I’m sure he wants to be out there proving to everyone that 2013 was more the exception than the rule.

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Javier Baez Blasts HR Against Brewers (VIDEO)

Excitement.

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Kris Bryant Mashes First Spring HR (Video)

The Cubs got their collective face punched in today, but Kris Bryant hit a ball 440′ to dead center, and he knew he got it.  That’s easy power, and it’s very exciting.

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