Spring Training Game Twenty-Two: Cubs (11-8-2) vs. Rangers (6-12)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: MLBTV.com (Rangers Feed) – Radio: MLB.com (Cubs Feed)
Location – Surprise Stadium, Surprise
Sean Marshall (0-0, 2.57/0.86) vs. Brandon McCarthy (1-2, 7.00/1.89)
Spring Training is slowly but surely coming to an end. Counting this afternoon’s contest against the Rangers, Lou Piniella’s crew has only 12 exhibition games left.
The Cubs will reportedly reduce their Spring Training roster from 40 players to 30 players by Friday. Piniella is expected to name his starting rotation at that time as well. The final spots on the Cubs bench will go down to the wire … meaning decisions on players such as Kevin Millar, Chad Tracy, Andres Blanco, Sam Fuld and Tyler Colvin will likely be made while the team is finishing up the spring at Chase Field.
Much was made about the news that Ted Lilly would not make a Cactus League start. Lilly is going to pitch as scheduled, just in a minor league game. Piniella pointed out the decision has nothing to do with Lilly … instead the decision is about keeping the rest of his staff on schedule. Lilly will throw two innings on Saturday the same for any pitcher make his first start of the spring. The Cubs feel Lilly should not pitch in relief and it would not benefit other players preparing for the season to come in after Lilly in a big league game. Sean Marshall will make his fourth appearance of the spring this afternoon. Marshall’s last, and only start of the spring came on March 13 against the Reds at HoHoKam. Marshall allowed a run on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts in three innings.
So far this spring, Marshall has allowed two runs on four hits (two home runs) with two walks and five strikeouts in three innings (three games).
Reportedly Marshall is still in the running to make the Cubs’ rotation out of camp … but it appears, from multiple sources, that Tom Gorzelanny will begin the year as one of Lou Piniella’s starting five. It appears Marshall will serve as the Cubs’ swingman once again … and Lou’s other lefty in the pen.
Brandon McCarthy has had a rough spring. McCarthy has given up seven runs, all earned, on 12 hits with five walks and nine strikeouts in nine innings (three games, all starts).
McCarthy was once a prized pitching prospect of the White Sox. Kenny Williams dealt him to the Rangers with David Paisano on December 23, 2006 for John Danks, Nick Masset and Jacob Rasner. McCarthy is fighting for a job in the Rangers’ rotation and it appears he will begin the season in Texas’ pen.
MLB.com will continue their free promotion for the next two days. Mick Gillespie, the voice of the Cubs’ Double-A affiliate Tennessee Smokies, will call the games.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …