The Cubs Spring Training Report – The Angel Pagan and Michael Barrett Show

Game Twenty-Eight: Cubs 4 Mariners 3

Updated: 11:00pm C.S.T. with Roster Moves….its down to 30, Kerry Wood and Mark Prior Head for the DL and News from Mesa, plus Sean Marshall in the 4th Spot?

wflag.jpg When Angel Pagan received the news that Marquis Grissom was retiring from baseball on Tuesday morning he could have taken a day off realizing he was probably going to make the Cubs big league roster….but he did not….talking about character. Pagan was inserted into the lead off spot and responded with a 2 for 4 day including a 3-run homer in the Top of the 8th to tie the game at 3. Pagan is now hitting .405 for the spring and looks to be a lock to leave Mesa and head to Chicago with the team.

Glendon Rusch had a quality start going 5 2/3 innings; gave up 2 runs on 8 hits and struck out 2….Rusch threw 80 pitches. Rusch will not intimidate batters the way that a healthy Kerry Wood or Mark Prior would, but if he can pitch like he did on Tuesday when the games count….he will put the team in a position to win ballgames.

Rusch fell behind the hitters and loaded the bases in the first inning but if Ronny Cedeno could have turned the double play on a slow dribbler hit by Adrian Beltre, Rusch would have gotten out of trouble without allowing a run. Carl Everett eventually grounded out to Todd Walker after a very good at bat….it took Rusch 9 of his 80 pitches to retire Everett. Rusch was able to get the double play when he needed it, the Cubs turned two on Tuesday, and that is a VERY good sign.

The Cubs committed their first error in ten games….two by Ronny Cedeno, both throwing errors. Cedeno is a good player; he just needs to realize it.

Scott Williamson made his return on Tuesday; he faced just one batter and did his job. Roberto Novoa also returned to the mound and he gave up a run on 2/3 of an inning on one hit. Will Ohman pitched well and like Williamson, retired the only batter he faced. Ryan Dempster was well…. Ryan Dempster. The Cubs Faithful remember all of the saves he made in ’05, but how many remember how he got them? Dempster had another rocky inning, walking one and striking out one….but the result was the same. Dempster got the win and Michael Wuertz pitched a 1,2,3 9th for the save.

The Cubs offense was not existent until the 8th inning. Davy Gregg led off the 8th with a single and was erased by a fielder’s choice by Ronny Cedeno, Ryan Theriot singled and Angel Pagan homered….game tied. Michael Barrett completed his 3 for 4 day with a solo shot in the 9th to win the game. Barrett had a very good at-bat and got a fastball on a 3-2 count and put the Cubs ahead for good.

Here is the box score from and photos from Yahoo Sports

Wednesday – The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Tempe, XM Channel 180

Carlos Zambrano vs. John Lackey

Roster Moves

The Cubs had a busy day on Tuesday after trading Todd Wellemeyer and the retirement of Marquis Grissom; the Cubs optioned David Aardsma, Angel Guzman and Jae Kuk Ryu to Iowa (AAA) and returned Casey Kopitzke to the Minor League camp. The Cubs also placed Mark Prior and Kerry Wood on the 15-day DL, retro to March 27th. The Cubs roster now stands at 30….5 more to go.

News from Mesa

The Cubs are still interested in a contract extension for Derrek Lee and Jim Hendry said on Tuesday he expects it to be done before Opening Day.

Hendry also said that the agents for Juan Pierre want to wait to start talking about his contract extension. With the contract Rafael Furcal received this past off-season, the market price for quality leadoff men has changed.

The Royals claimed Tony Graffanino off of waivers on Tuesday….thank you Kansas City.

Could Sean Marshall take Jerome Williams’ spot in the rotation? The Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan thinks so in his latest report….what do you guys think?

Well that’s the news….and I’m sticking to it!!!

Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon