Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rockies – 03/23/12

Spring Training Game Twenty-Three: Cubs (9-12-1) vs. Rockies (?9-9)
Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Cubs.com
Location – Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale

Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 2.70/0.60) vs. Tyler Chatwood (1-1, 3.86/1.29)

Updated 11:41am CDTThe Cubs announced another round of spring roster cuts Friday morning. Anthony Rizzo and Adrian Cardenas were optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Brett Jackson, Jay Jackson, James Adduci, Michael Brenly and Bobby Scales were assigned to minor league camp.

Updated 11:41am CDTRyan Dempster named Opening Day starter. Matt Garza will begin the year behind Dempster in the rotation. Paul Maholm is the Cubs’ fifth starter and Dale Sveum will name his third and fourth starters on March 28.

With 13 exhibition games left on the Cactus League schedule, it is nearing crunch time for the Chicago Cubs. Dale Sveum has said he would like to start using his everyday lineup with around 10 days left in camp … the Cubs hit the 10 day mark on Sunday. Then there’s those pesky roster decsions.

The Cubs were expected to announce several spring roster cuts prior to Thursday’s exhibition with the Rangers but according to ESPN Chicago, the roster cuts will be announced over the weekend. The Cubs have made two spring roster cuts this week. Chris Rusin was assigned to minor league camp and Andy Sonnanstine was outrighted off the 40-man roster and assigned to minor league camp. Sveum is expected to cut between 10-12 players from the 47 still in camp.

Dale Sveum is expected to name his Opening Day starter on Friday. Either Ryan Dempster (likely Dempster) or Matt Garza will face Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals at Wrigley Field on April 5.

Today’s exhibition game all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija has all but locked up a spot in the Cubs’ Opening Day rotation and will likely be slotted in behind Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Paul Maholm in the fourth spot when the season begins.

Samardzija has been one of the surprises for the Cubs this spring and is coming off another excellent spring outing.

In three outings, two starts, Samardzija has allowed three runs on six hits in 10 innings with nine strikeouts and no walks. A clean-cut Samardzija held the Rangers to one run on three hits in four innings on St. Patrick’s Day in Las Vegas. Samardzija struck out three … again without a walk.

Casey Coleman, Esmailin Caridad, Trever Miller and Manny Corpas are on the Cubs’ pitching schedule for Friday.

Tyler Chatwood is making his second start and third appearance in the Cactus League. Chatwood held the Rangers to one run on four hits in four innings with a walk and two strikeouts in his last outing. In seven innings this spring, Chatwood has allowed three runs on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts.

News and Notes
According to multiple reports, Carlos Marmol threw on the side Thursday and had no problems. Marmol is looking to get back in a Cactus League game in one of the split squad games on Monday. Marmol also experienced problems with his neck during Tuesday’s outing. Both his hand and neck are okay.

Reed Johnson is listed as day-to-day after being hit in the leg Tuesday.

After leaving Thursday’s game in the sixth inning with an apparent arm issue, Marcos Mateo had a MRI Thursday night. As of this writing, Mateo’s status and the results of the MRI were not available.

Travis Wood is expected to start Saturday’s game against San Diego in Mesa.

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax