Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs Split Squad Day – 03/15/12

Spring Training Game Twelve: Cubs (SS) (6-5) vs. Diamondbacks (3-9)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio:
Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa

Ryan Dempster (1-0, 1.80/1.20) vs. Ian Kennedy (0-2, 10.38/2.08)

Spring Training Game Thirteen: Cubs (SS) (6-5) vs. Rockies (6-6)
Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio:
Location – Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale

Rodrigo Lopez (0-0, 0.00/0.00) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 3.60/1.20)

Updated 12:58pm CDT – The Cubs announced their fourth round of spring roster cuts Thursday morning.

The Cubs optioned Junior Lake and Matt Szczur to Double-A Tennessee. Jeff Beliveau, Alberto Cabrera, John Gaub and Josh Vitters were optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Jason Jaramillo was assigned to minor league camp. The Cubs spring roster now stands at 48 players (32 on the 40-man roster, 16 non-roster invitees).
Spring Training or not, the Cubs begin a difficult stretch of game this afternoon with their first split squad games. The Cubs play seven games over the next four days and ten games in the next six days leading up to their only day off in the Cactus League (March 21). The Cubs play a total of five split squad games this spring, the last one against the Padres and D-Backs on March 26.

Following today’s exhibitions against Arizona and Colorado, the Cubs host the Giants on Friday afternoon then Dale Sveum and half of the roster leave for their annual appearance in the ‘Big League Weekend‘ at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.

Today’s exhibition games start with Ryan Dempster and Rodrigo Lopez

Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – HoHoKam Park
Ryan Dempster makes his third start of the spring this afternoon. Dempster has allowed one run on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in five innings over two outings. Dempster threw the ball a lot better in his last start.

Dempster should pitch into the fourth inning today after going two innings in his first outing and three in his last game. Kerry Wood,Carlos Marmol and James Russell are scheduled to follow Dempster this afternoon.

David DeJesus, Ian Stewart , and Bryan LaHair are expected to be in Sveum’s starting lineup at HoHoKam.

Ian Kennedy is coming off a breakout season but has struggled so far this spring. Kennedy will make his third start in the Cactus League after allowed five runs on nine hits without a walk and four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.

Cubs vs. Rockies – Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Rodrigo Lopez has been very good this spring and will make his second start, third appearance, today in Scottsdale. Lopez was impressive in the Cactus League opener then tossed two scoreless innings out of the pen in his second appearance.

Lopez has not allowed a hit or walked a batter in four spring innings and has struck out three.

Scott Maine, Alberto Cabrera, Marcos Mateo and Blake Parker are scheduled to follow Rodrigo Lopez.

Reed Johnson, Marlon Byrd, Joe Mather and Alfonso Soriano are expected to be in the Cubs starting lineup against the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies are hoping Jhoulys Chacin can fill the second spot in their rotation and provide some stability the staff.

Chacin has thrown the ball rather well this spring and will make his third Cactus League start this afternoon. Chacin has allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in five innings.

News and Notes

Dale Sveum will make the trip to Las Vegas this weekend and manage both games at Cashman Field against the Texas Rangers. Jamie Quirk will manage the games against the A’s (Saturday in Phoenix) and White Sox (Sunday in Mesa).

Jeff Samardzija (Saturday) and Chris Volstad (Sunday) are scheduled to start the game in Vegas while Paul Maholm will stay behind and face the A’s on Saturday with Andy Sonnanstine slated to start Sunday’s game against the White Sox at HoHoKam Park.

The Cubs are expected to make another round of roster moves next week after the stretch of 10 games in six days comes to an end.

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