Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs Split Squad – 03/12/11

Spring Training Game Fifteen: Cubs (ss) (6-8) vs. Reds (ss) (8-5-1)
Game Time – 2:05pm CST
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: 720 WGN
Location – HoHokam Park, Mesa

Carlos Silva (0-1, 29.70/4.20) vs. Homer Bailey (0-1, 7.71/1.50)

Spring Training Game Sixteen: Cubs (ss) (6-8) vs. Reds (ss) (8-5-1)
Game Time – 3:05pm CST
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: None
Location – Cashman Field, Las Vegas

James Russell (0-0, 10.80/2.20) vs. Mike Leake (0-0, 9.00/2.40)

Q’s crew has a big weekend ahead of them. Half of the remaining 58 players in big league camp will be in Las Vegas facing the Reds and Dodgers while the other half stays behind in Mesa to play the Reds and Diamondbacks.

Mike Quade will lead the squad in Las Vegas and Pat Listach will call the shots in Mesa.

For the seventh consecutive spring, the Cubs will participate in the annual ‘Big League Weekend‘ at Cashman Field in Las Vegas. The Cubs face the Reds this afternoon and the Dodgers on Sunday. WGN TV will televise both games from Sin City.

Pat Hughes and Keith Moreland will broadcast the other game this afternoon from Mesa.

Carlos Silva gets the start against the Reds and both Silva and the Cubs need for him to put together a good start.

Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner have moved ahead of Silva in the battle for the last two spots in the rotation. The Tribune reported Thursday night that Wells is a lock to make the rotation out of camp, so that leaves just one spot. If nothing else, the Cubs need Silva to pitch well this afternoon to up whatever value he still might have to another team.

The Cubs won one and lost one in their first split squad action of the spring. After today, the Cubs have two more split squad games … Sunday, March 13 and Tuesday, March 15.

Spring Training Game Fifteen: Cubs vs. Reds
Carlos Silva vs. Homer Bailey in Mesa

To say Carlos Silva has been horrible would be an understatement. Dugout scuffle aside, Silva has put together two very bad outings. Silva’s command is off and everything is up right now.

Silva has given up 14 runs, 11 earned, on 13 hits with a walk and a hit batsman in 3 1/3 innings. Silva has yet to strikeout a batter … and really hasn’t missed too many bats.

After declaring himself one of the Cubs five starters before the spring games began, Carlos Silva has done everything but prove he deserves to be in Q’s rotation. Silva said he’s under pressure to earn a spot in the rotation after his last start. At this point, the Cubs just need him to put together a solid spring outing … and it will not be easy against the Reds’ offense.

Homer Bailey is out of minor league options and is pitching for a spot in Dusty Baker’s rotation this spring. Bailey has shown flashes of the pitcher the Reds would like him to be, but his problem has been throwing strikes on a consistent basis. Bailey was once one of the top pitching prospects in the game and the Reds are still hoping he can fulfill the promise.

Bailey has struggled in his first two starts of the spring … four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and no walks in 4 2/3 innings.

Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce are expected to be in Chris Speier’s starting lineup this afternoon. Chris Speier, the Reds’ bench coach, will call the shots in Mesa.

Spring Training Game Sixteen: Cubs vs. Reds
James Russell vs. Mike Leake in Las Vegas

The Cubs would like to see James Russell in the rotation when the season begins, but at this point Russell appears destined for the I-Cubs rotation. Russell will make his first start of the spring (third appearance) and has struggled with his command so far.

Russell has allowed seven runs, six earned, on 11 hits without a walk and four strikeouts in five innings.

Mike Leake is not having a good spring and is coming off a bad outing. Leake pitched in relief and gave up four runs on nine hits in three innings. Leake has allowed five runs, all earned, on 11 hits in five innings with a walk and a strikeout. Leake was one of the biggest stories of the spring a year ago but is now battling for a spot in the Reds Opening Day rotation.

James Russell will face two of the biggest Cub killers in the league this afternoon. Both Joey Votto and Drew Stubbs have lit up Cubs’ pitching. Maybe with Mark Riggins at the helm of the staff, the Cubs will change their approach against Votto and Stubbs. It is past time for both of them to be backed off the plate by a pitcher wearing a Cubs’ uniform.

The Reds beat up the Cubs last Sunday in Goodyear (10-0), maybe the Cubs can get a win or two this afternoon.

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lineup in Las Vegas:

    Fukudome – RF
    Castro – SS
    Colvin – DH
    Soriano – LF
    Scott Moore – 1B
    Baker – 3B
    DeWitt – 2B
    Johnson – CF
    Hill – C

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lineup in Mesa:

    Fernando Perez – CF
    Barney – SS
    Byrd – CF
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    Soto – C
    Scales – 2B
    James Adduci – RF
    Silva – P

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    With as much good play has come out of our 3rd baseman in camp Smith, Vitters and Moore why is Baker starting in Vegas? I thought the goal was to see these kids against live major league pitching?

    • BosephHeyden

      No. Playing prospects is never the goal of this team. How dare you question 100+ years of history? You and your logic…

    • The Maven

      In a perfect world, with the stats the way they are now, the Cubs break camp with Marquez Smith, Matt Camp, and Scott Moore as infielders. Blake DeWitt and Darwin Barney would go down to Triple A, with Augie Ojeda either accepting a Triple A assignment or being released. Although he has hit fairly well, Jeff Baker would never justify his salary and would be released. However, I know this will never come to pass

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        Actually Barney has hit pretty good (.278) and has played defense at a good level. So he should probably make the roster over Moore (.250) with Marquis Smith (.333) and Camp .(385) but the rest is pretty good idea Maven. But I just think that giving work at 3rd to Baker is a waste of time with the talent we already have in camp.

        • The Maven

          Sorry, I based my comment on some old stats, so your right about Barney.

      • carmelo

        Just so you understand how things work, if you were to put Smith, Camp, and Moore on the 25 man roster, you would have to release 3 players from the 40 man roster since none of those 3 are on the 40 man. So give me the 3 who you would release.

        • cubtex

          Excellent point Carmelo!!!! You have a 40 man roster for a reason! If you drop a player off your roster they are open for another team to pickup(see Max Ramirez) If the Cubs drop DeWitt off the 40 man roster he would definately be snatched up and you would lose him for nothing. He is only 25 years old people!!! I would not give up on him yet!

          • The Maven

            DeWitt has a minor league option

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

            I have not said anything about dropping DeWitt from the 40 man. I do not think anyone has. That would be foolish but does Diamond deserve a spot there? How about Jeff Stevens? What we are talking about is getting rid of dead weight not giving up on a young player that still needs alot of work.

          • Tony_Hall

            Where did you see anyone say to release Dewitt? Sending him to AAA is still a spot on the 40 man roster.

        • The Maven

          The Cubs currently only have 39 players on the 40 man roster. So if you release Baker and keep Smith, Camp, and Barney (as I amended from Moore), there are no problems with the roster.

        • The Maven

          The Cubs also have some dead weight on the roster in Justin Berg, Esmailin Caridad, Thomas Diamond, John Gaub, and Jeff Stevens. Hopefully some of these guys won’t be on the 40 man roster for much longer.

        • Tony_Hall

          Oh, if there were only 3 players to choose from to drop from the 40 man roster.

          Berg
          Diamond
          Gaub
          Grabow
          Samardzija
          Silva
          Stevens
          K Hill
          J Baker

          Plus remember, you don’t always have to release someone, you can trade players away, and receive players that don’t need to go on the 40 man roster. There are many ways to manage a roster. Unfortunately, JH has never been that good at roster management.

  • skavoovee

    Anyone notice the Austin Bibens-Dirx is listed on the 40 man roster — did I miss something or is this a mistake?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I think it is a mistake. Often on split-squad days big league teams will pull in minor leaguers as you know. I think someone on cubs.com jumped the gun.

      I will keep an eye on it.

  • Cheryl

    Why not play Ramirez (Max) and Castillo as catchers rather than Hill and Sota? See how they do. I know Sota is guaranteed a job, but give Castillo and Ramirez more of a shot.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Soto has to play to get ready. I’m with you on Hill. I really like what I saw from Max while in Arizona and would like to see him get time at first base. He is out of options, I would like to see them keep Max.

      As for Castillo, like you I really like him but he will be the starting catcher for Iowa … and should be, I don’t want to see him wasting away on the bench in Chicago.

    • Tony_Hall

      And why not play them in September last year.

      Do you understand why we get so frustrated with the management of our favorite sports team?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good first inning for Silva … 1-2-3 on 9 pitches

    • Cheryl

      I do. But I’m also learning a lot from you guys about areas Iwasn’t aware of and for that I thannk you.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another good inning for Silva … 1-2-3 on 11 pitches in the second. Gomes just missed a homer according to Pat.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Silva is missing up in the third. Gave up a long homer to Chris Heisey to start the third. He hit it off the scoreboard.

    Edgar Renteria just made it 2-0 with the Reds third hit of the inning.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Offense left two more on base, both in scoring position. Left 6 total on base in first three innings in Mesa

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Scales with another hit …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The Cubs are the visiting team in Vegas

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a long homer off Mike Leake in Vegas …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Scales with his third hit of the game, two RBI single in the fifth.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Baker and DeWitt are not helping James Russell at all.

    Russell is really off, not hitting spots.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      Was Brenly saying that he had the flu?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I thought Brenly said Casey Coleman.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

          It might have been didn’t catch all of it.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs took the lead in Mesa on bases loaded single by Fernando Perez

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And the Cubs defensive miscues just cost them two runs in Vegas

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wellemeyer cannot throw strikes in Mesa, just walked in the tying run. Bases still loaded in the 6th.

  • garrett

    Wow great game by Scott moore 2 homeruns and still in the 4th
    Can he play second or short? Would be a good adition to this team

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yes, he can play both.

    • Tom U

      Moore is very versatile, being able to play all four infield positions

      • garrett

        I think Moore is going to make this team he could be a very good bat of the bench.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Moore does not really have a spot right now. They want to begin the year with DeWitt and Baker at second. If Barney could work his way to the front of the second base, that could open a spot for Moore.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs defense just cost them a run in Mesa. Aramis with a throwing error, Cubs down 7-6 in the bottom of the 7th

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with his second 2-run homer.

    McNutt is pitching in Mesa and Marwin Gonzalez is at short.

    • GrantJones7

      Sweet!, how did McNutt n marwin look?

  • The Maven

    Colvin with his second base running gaffe of the day.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Keith Moreland just said Trey McNutt threw the best fastball he’s seen all day. The ball exploded out of his hand.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Trey McNutt just had a very good inning in his second outing of the spring. Struck out a batter and kept everything on the ground. The only hit was an infield single … Marwin Gonzalez slipped on the play and it was ruled a basehit.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Jae-Hoon Ha is hitting in the eighth in Mesa.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Evan Crawford got into the action in Mesa … struck out swinging.

    Marwin Gonzalez just missed a homer.

  • Tom U

    I’m beginning to wish that game was televised

  • cubtex

    Watching some of this game on WGN it is easy to see why there are a lot of errors in Arizona! Just witnessed Moore hit a little bouncer over the pitcher that just took off and the Reds shortstop prospect booted it. The infield is as hard as concrete! As I mentioned in a previous post…..you will see the Cubs infield defense improve once they start playing on the lush, finely manicured major league ballparks.

    • cubtex

      Las Vegas as well!!!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      The infields are not as good but those early errors were on routine plays … throws, balls under legs etc. I was there and saw it. While there should be improvement, the defense as a whole needs help.

    • The Maven

      With the Wrigley Field infield resembling a cow pasture :-)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Matt Cerda is playing third in Mesa.

    • Larry

      What is the score on the Mesa game, Neil?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Hey Larry, good to hear from you.

        Cubs (ss) lose 7-6 to Reds (ss) in Mesa. Carlos Silva: 5 IP, 5 H (2 HR), 4 R, 2 Ks,Todd Wellemeyer: 2 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 4 H, 3 BB, K

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs (ss) lose 7-6 to Reds (ss) in Mesa. Carlos Silva: 5 IP, 5 H (2 HR), 4 R, 2 Ks,Todd Wellemeyer: 2 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 4 H, 3 BB, K

  • The Maven

    Nice play by Marquez Smith

  • The Maven

    The new batting helmets make the players look like The Great Gazoo

    • The Maven

      Avitar is a model for the new batting helmets (with help from my daughter)

  • GrantJones7

    How did, Ha, Cerda and Marwin end up looking???

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And the Reds complete the sweep … walk-off win in the 9th against Robert Coello.

    Cubs (ss) lose 9-8 to Reds (ss) in Vegas. Starlin Castro: 3-for-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI, Scott Moore: 4-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, Tyler Colvin: 4-for-5, RBI