Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs Split Squad Day – 03/18/12

Spring Training Game Seventeen: Cubs (SS) (6-10) vs. White Sox (4-10)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Cubs.com
Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa

Casey Coleman (0-0, 7.71/1.93) vs. Gavin Floyd (0-0, 2.25/1.25)

Spring Training Game Eighteen: Cubs (SS) (6-10) vs. Rangers (SS) (4-10)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Rangers.com – Radio: Rangers.com
Location – Cashman Field, Las Vegas

Chris Volstad (1-0, 0.00/0.50) vs. Matt Harrison (1-0, 1.80/0.80)

The Cubs will try to get back in the win column this afternoon … and they have two chances to do so. After showing improvement for well over a week, the Cubs have gone the other way. After beating the Giants last Tuesday, the Cubs have lost six games in a row over a four day span and have been outscored 48-21. Wins and losses do not matter in the spring, but it has been a rough few days for the Chicago Cubs.

While Dale Sveum and half of the roster are in Las Vegas for the last of two against the Rangers, Jamie Quirk will call the shots against the White Sox at HoHoKam Park. The other half of the Rangers’ squad will spend the day in Maryvale with the Brewers.

Ian Stewart and Darwin Barney could return to the starting lineup this afternoon after being sidelined with injuries.

Weather permitting (in Las Vegas and Mesa) … today’s exhibition games start with Casey Coleman and Chris Volstad.

Cubs vs. White Sox – HoHoKam Park
Andy Sonnanstine was originally scheduled to start the game against the White Sox but reportedly it was a clerical error and Sonnanstine was not scheduled to start. He is on the schedule to pitch against the White Sox, just not at the beginning of the game. Other relievers on the schedule today include Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood and Marcos Mateo.

So far Casey Coleman has been Casey Coleman this spring. Coleman makes his first start this afternoon and his fourth appearance in the Cactus League.

Coleman has allowed four runs on seven hits with two walks and a strikeout in 4 2/3 innings. Coleman started nibbling in his last outing and the Brewers took advantage. In 1 2/3 innings, Coleman gave up four runs on five hits with two walks. Coleman should be able to give Jamie Quirk at least three innings this afternoon.

Gavin Floyd will make only his second spring start this afternoon. Floyd has been dealing with trade rumors all winter and they followed him to Arizona. Floyd is a very talented, but inconsistent right hander that the Cubs were rumored to have a lot of interest in last season before the previous GM was relieved of his duties.

Floyd faced the Padres in Peoria last Tuesday and allowed one run on five hits without a walk and struck out five in four innings.

Cubs vs. Rangers – Cashman Field
Chris Volstad makes his third start of the spring this afternoon. Volstad has been very good, so far, and has not allowed a run or walked a batter in six innings of work. Volstad has kept the ball down and has still managed to strikeout four over two starts.

Volstad has gone three innings in each of his first two games and if all goes as planned he should pitch into and through the fourth inning this afternoon.

If the off-season rumors were correct, the Cubs and Rangers at one point talked about a deal that would have involved Matt Harrison ending up in the Cubs’ rotation.

The southpaw gave up one run on three hits with a pair of strikeouts and no walks in his last start. Harrison went three innings against the Mariners in Peoria and should pitch into the fourth today. So far this spring, Harrison has allowed one run on four hits in five innings (two starts) with two strikeouts and no walks.

The Rangers will be the ‘home‘ team at Cashman Field this afternoon.

Dale Sveum is expected to use Alfonso Soriano his designated hitter today and the starting lineup is expected to be: Johnson (LF), Lake (SS), DeWitt (2B), Soriano (DH), LaHair (1B), Mather (3B), Clevenger (C), Sappelt (CF), Adduci (RF)

News and Notes

According to reports Saturday, Dale Sveum could name his Opening Day starter in the coming week.

As for the back-up catcher’s job, Dale Sveum said Saturday that the decision between who will serve as Geovany Soto’s back-up when the season begins will likely go down to the final week of Spring Training … and it appears to be down to Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

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