Talkin’ Cubs Live – Split Squads – 03/07/10

Updated – 11:40am CST – Game in Glendale vs. White Sox Cancelled Due to Rain

Updated – 1:50pm CST – Game in Mesa vs. Dodgers Cancelled Due to Rain

Spring Training Game Four: Cubs (ss) (2-1) vs. White Sox (2-1-1)
Game Time – 2:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: None
Location – Camelback Ranch, Glendale

Jeff Samardzija (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Jake Peavy (0-0, -.–/-.–)

Spring Training Game Five: Cubs (ss) (2-1) vs. Dodgers (1-1-1)
Game Time – 2:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: None
Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa

Tom Gorzelanny (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Clayton Kershaw (0-0, -.–/-.–)

Weather permitting, Sunday is the first of five split squad days for the Cubs this spring (March 12 against the Brewers and White Sox in Las Vegas; March 13 against the Reds and White Sox in Las Vegas; March 20 against the A’s and Royals; March 31 against the Angels and Mariners).

Half of Lou Piniella’s crew will stay in Mesa while the other half will travel to face the White Sox at Camelback Ranch in Glendale.

News from Mesa

Andres Blanco suffered a Grade 2 strain on his right knee on Saturday when his spikes got caught in the dirt on a play at second base in the sixth inning. Blanco will be out 10-14 days.

With Blanco out, Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro are expected to see more playing time at shortstop.

Xavier Nady was expected to serve as the Cubs’ designated hitter on Sunday. But the Cubs have held him back … Lou Piniella said he is not concerned.

Cubs vs. White Sox at Camelback Ranch

The Cubs are expected to see Jake Peavy make his spring debut for the White Sox. But if the rains come in as predicted and the game is delayed, Peavy could throw a simulated game instead to stay on schedule.

Jeff Samardzija had a good winter and reportedly the Cubs are very happy with the way he reported to camp. It is time for ‘The Shark‘ to take the next step in his development and a good start to the spring would be a positive first step.

J.R. Mathes, John Gaub, Jeff Stevens and Blake Parker are on the pitching schedule for the split squad game against the Sox. Mitch Atkins was on the schedule as well, but with Atkins pitching on Saturday, he will not be available this afternoon.

Cubs vs. Dodgers at HoHoKam Park

Tom Gorzelanny is slated to make his first appearance of the spring. Reportedly, Gorzelanny is the favorite to land one of the final two spots in the Cubs’ rotation. Lou Piniella wants at least one lefty in his rotation while Ted Lilly is on the DL.

Thomas Diamond, Mike Parisi and Esmailin Caridad are on the schedule for Mesa this afternoon … along with two call-ups from minor league camp, Jay Jackson and Brian Schlitter.

With all of the injuries and uncertainty surrounding the Cubs’ pitching staff, today would be a good time to see Thomas Diamond step up and put his name in the mix.

Let’ Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne