Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Mariners – 03/14/11

Spring Training Game Nineteen: Cubs (8-10) vs. Mariners (9-4)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Webcast
Location – Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria

Matt Garza (0-2, 14.85/2.25) vs. Doug Fister (1-1, 5.00/1.22)

The next few days should be anything but boring for the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have played 18 of their 34 Spring Training games and open the 2011 season two weeks from Friday at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs first, and only, off day of the spring is Wednesday. Jim Hendry and Mike Quade are expected to announce several cuts following Tuesday’s final split squad day. The Cubs Spring Training roster currently stands at 58 players after Esmailin Caridad and John Gaub were optioned to Triple-A Iowa last Friday.

Today is a big start for Matt Garza. While it is only Spring Training, Garza started throwing breaking stuff in his last outing. After not being able to locate his fastball, Garza began mixing in breaking balls and saw immediate results.

Matt Garza will make his fourth appearance, third start, of the spring this afternoon. Garza has been hit around pretty good and needs to put together a good outing against an offensively challenged team.

Garza has allowed 11 runs, all earned, on ten hits with five walks and five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

Doug Fister will make his fourth start of the spring. Fister has allowed five runs on 10 hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in nine innings.

The Cubs will get their first look Eric Wedge (one of the finalists for the Cubs’ managerial job) in a Mariners’ uniform. Milton Bradley, who is having a very good spring, should be in Wedge’s starting lineup this afternoon.

David Pauley, Cesar Jimenez and Cub-for-a-minute Garrett Olson are slated to follow Fister in the Mariners’ pitching rotation for Monday.

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  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Fukudome – RF
    Johnson – CF
    Scott Moore – 2B
    Luis Montanez – LF
    Bryan LaHair – 1B
    Vitters – 3B
    Castillo – C
    Barney – SS
    Garza – P

    • Chipguy2030

      How has Bryan LaHair and Vitters hit this spring? Do you think that Vitters is the 3rd baseman of the future?

      • Neil

        LaHair has done okay, Vitters has hit the ball pretty well. The concern with Vitters is his defense. He had a rough day in the field yesterday.

        Vitters was on XM last week and said he’s really working on his defense, actually more than his hitting. He feels his offense is a little ahead of his defense. But stated that he needs to work on both to get to the majors.

        As for the 3rd baseman of the future, that is the question. Everyone says he will hit but they feel he might end up at first. This is a big year for him. He needs to show maturity on and off the field.

  • Neil

    LaHair just doubled in a pair in the top of the first …

    • Richard Hood

      It is almost like someone knew he was going to have a good day.

      • Neil

        Yep, I was thinking the same. A couple of doubles already …

  • Neil

    Garza faced minimum in first. Castillo threw out Figgins trying to steal second to end the inning.

  • Neil

    If Garza is done, it was a good outing. The defense let him down in the third. Still struggled with command but worked in all of his pitches.

  • Neil

    James Adduci is confirming his assignment to minor league camp this afternoon.

  • Neil

    Szczur singled in a run in the eighth. Flaherty is playing short.

  • Neil

    From Phil Rogers … so take for what it is worth: Scouts says Rangers are eyeing Andrew Cashner in any Michael Young talk Cubs. Feliz happy as starter could put Carlos Marmol in play.

    • Richard Hood

      Still do not see that as an option. That sounds like something from the Cubbie Hot Stove site.

  • Neil

    Cubs lose 5-3 to Mariners Monday afternoon in Peoria. Matt Garza’s line: 1 run on 3 hits, 2 BB, 3 Ks in 4 innings. Garza threw 64 pitches, 35 for strikes.

  • Cheryl

    Is there any way the Cubs would part with Cashner? I doubt it.

    • Richard Hood

      I can’t see a scenario where we trade Cashner and Marmol without getting Feliz in the deal for young. And I am not sure I would do that either.

      • Neil

        The “rumor” is from Phil Rogers. The only reason I posted it is because I have to. There will not be a full report on this site concerning this “rumor.”

        • Patrick_Schaefer

          Agreed Neil, Phil Rogers is full of hot air, his sources are the voices in his head LOL .

          • Richard Hood

            I can not for the life of me think of who Phil Rodgers even is. Is that sad or what? Will research it though. Keep up the good work Neil.

          • Richard Hood

            ok I know who is now. Yes he is a hack. It will be the lead story on Bleacher Report and Cubbies Hot Stove tomorrow no doubt.

  • Aaron

    You know what’s sad, Neil?….
    Johnson and Koyie Hill (especially), and Ojeda are doing absolutely nothing to warrant consideration on this team, and yet they are virtually assured of spots.

    Here’s why:
    1) Perez is Johnson’s only competition thus far as Jackson hasn’t done much, and likely needs more seasoning anyhow. Problem is, Perez not only has dealt with injuries this spring, but also has an option left

    2) Max Ramirez hasn’t lit up the Cactus League as we all knew he’d have to do in order to even remotely be considered for a spot on the 25-man roster. And while both Clevenger and Castillo have outperformed both Hill and Ramirez, Castillo has options left and Clevenger isn’t even on the 40-man, and thus can be outrighted to AAA. Therefore, it’s still Hill’s job….Isn’t that pathetic?!?!

    3) Yes, Barney is batting .333, but consider this for a second. LeMahieu, Flaherty, Marwin Gonzalez, and Lake will all be vying for playing time at AA this year. Outside of Matt Camp (and Scott Moore if he accepts an assignment to AAA), there isn’t anyone that could play SS. Thus, Barney will probably go down to supply depth, unless the Cubs get aggressive, and have one of the 4 I mentioned skip AA altogether (although Gonzalez and Flaherty had brief assignments there last year). Therefore, the Cubs will likely go with Ojeda, even though he’s not an ideal fit all around, as he doesn’t play ANY position all that well, is too short to reach low liners, and can’t hit a lick. I’d argue that Scott Moore is the best all-around fit for the back-up role, but that’s just my opinion.

    I would’ve loved to have Brett Jackson light it up in Spring Training, and just go with him, but at this point, I firmly believe the best option now is Perez with his speed and ability to play all OF spots. I’d rather have Brad Snyder, as his combination of speed, power, and defensive versatility make him attractive, especially when considering that Soriano and Fukudome have looked bad this spring, and likely will need significant time off. Who would you rather have: Perez, Byrd and Colvin in that case, or Snyder, Byrd, and Colvin?… point exactly

    Anyway, we’ll see if I am right with my original roster predictions. One thing is for sure….with the projected everyday lineup of: Fukudome, Castro, Byrd, ARAM, Pena, Soriano, Soto, and DeWitt, our offense will be absolutely dreadful.

    • Aaron

      also forgot to say….does anyone else find it peculiar that when the prospects enter the game, the offense awakes from hibernation and the Cubs put runs on the board?

      I’ve watched/listened to the games this spring with our “projected” lineup, and they stall offensively, and inevitably when they’re replaced by the likes of Marquez Smith, Clevenger/Castillo, Scales, Camp, Moore, Barney, etc., the offense all of a sudden wakes up.

      • Richard Hood

        I agree with you on this Aaron but as much of it has to do with pitchers that are going to be AAA scrubs than the guys that are hitting. But that being said we do have some good young offensive players in camp.

        • Cheryl

          If only some of the new ones would see the light of day. Somehow I think Ramirez might because ofhis situation. And, no doubt, you’re right, Neal, about who will stick. But I wonder about Ojeda. He’s rarely been seen. If Scales and Moore make it it would be a pleasant surprise. But I suppose I’m too optimistic.

    • paulcatanese

      Aaron,love the comment on Ojeda. “too short to reach low liners” thats got to be a classic.

  • Tony


    Carlos Silva looks like he has earned a release based on his spring performance, according to Jon Heyman of Like Oliver Perez, Silva is set to earn $12MM in 2011. Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors, including the latest on another candidate to be released…

  • Tony

    List of players out of options for all teams.

    Cubs – Baker, Hill, M Ramirez, Soto

    • Neil

      Jeff Samardzija should be added to that list.

      • cheryl

        Jeff S. hasn’t done anything to deserve staying.

        • Neil

          Cheryl, Samardzija is out of minor league options and will make the team out of ST. I agree with you and most probably do, but with the money they’ve paid him there is no way the Cubs pay him $3.5 million to walk away.