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 …

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Quote of the Day

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineups … again, weather permitting

    Against the Rangers:
    Johnson – LF
    Lake – SS
    DeWitt – 2B
    Soriano – DH
    LaHair – 1B
    Mather – 3B
    Clevenger – C
    Sappelt – RF
    Adduci – CF

    Volstad starting

    Against the White Sox:

    DeJesus – DH
    Byrd – CF
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soto – C
    Baker – LF
    Vitters – 3B
    Amezaga – 2B
    Campana – RF

    Coleman starting

  • RynoTiger

    Wins and Losses may not count in spring training, but I’ve always viewed spring training as a great way to establish a pattern of success and build confidence that will hopefully carry over into the season

  • RynoTiger

    Neil, yesterday you wrote: “Josh Vitters had a bad day at the park. Vitters’ first inning error opened up a big inning for Oakland. He hit into two inning ending double plays, was thrown out at second to end another and was 0-for-4 at the plate. Vitters, who showed up late to the team’s first meeting this spring, just isn’t getting it. This is a big season for Josh Vitters and it is time for him to play as he was projected.”

    But what if Vitters is playing to his talent level and the projections were just plain wrong from the beginning because they were too high?..yikes..and oopss…

    • Ripsnorter1

      Missing a team meeting is not “playing to your talent level.” It is showing what the scouts have been saying for years about Vitters: he doesn’t want it badly enough. He’s like the guy that is late for work all the time–he usually gets fired because he doesn’t care enough. 

      Vitters is not going to make it, imo. He doesn’t have the talent nor the work ethic to make it to the Big Show. His fielding is awful, and his bat is too weak to cover for his weak glove. “It’s a miss.”

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Many of the scouts thought he would hit before the draft. As Rip pointed out below, it is a maturity issue. I have been told that with Vitters is not a talent issue but other issues that hold him back.

  • cubtex

    Heard that Sveum came out and said that Dolis and Wood will be in the setup roles. He said not set in stone but that appears likely.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I hope you follow the CCO on Twitter

      • cubtex

        I do. Saw it after I posted :)

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

           Thank you. Are you watching the game today?

          • cubtex

            Yep. Fox Southwest again.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Cool …

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            That was a nice play by Clevenger to end the first. Looked smooth coming out from behind the plate to grab Beltre’s tapper

          • cubtex

            Yea. Nice footwork to make that play with a nice accurate throw.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            I hope you saw who was sitting next to Mike Maddux

          • cubtex

            the other Maddux

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Lendy Castillo is in

          • cubtex

            He is raw but he has nice movement on his pitches and has a live arm.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

             Agreed …

  • cubtex

    Here is what I am guessing the bullpen might be for the start of the year.

    Marmol
    K Wood
    R Dolis
    J Russell
    S Maine
    R Wells
    L Castillo

    With the rotation being
    Garza
    Dempster
    Maholm
    Volstad
    Shark.

    Any other opinions?

    • Ripsnorter1

      Spare me the Volstad option in the rotation. That .909 OPS vs LH hitters is hard to swallow.

      Not looking for Maine to make it when Jed can go with the Trevor Miller “youth movement.” I don’t want him, mind you, but I think he makes the club.

      • cubtex

        I don’t see how they can justify having Trever Miller on the team when you have S Maine who is 27 and had a decent year in AAA and Josh Gaub waiting in the wings. They need to see if these 2 guys are major league pitchers or not.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I agree, but I don’t think that is how they are thinking.

      • cubtex

        Rip. Out of the 4 hits Volstad has given up so far today…3 were left handed hitters. It seems like he leaves alot of hittable pitches over the plate to lefties.

        • Ripsnorter1

          That’s the knock on him. He’s a Ground Ball pitcher, but gives up a lot of HRs to LHBatters. When a GB pitcher gives up a lot of HRs , it is because the pitcher is making mistakes.  They are hitting mistakes. He is his own worst enemy, and continues to be. If he can solve the LH hitters, he’d be effective. Until then….4-13 records will be the norm.

          • wrigleylover

            His bad record was due in  large part to bad run support. And it was 5-13. He has improved a lot it seems 

          • cubtex

            He threw several mistakes that the Ranger hitters missed. The announcers even mentioned this.

    • Tony_Hall

      Exactly as I see it after Sveum’s latest comments.  

      The only other one is Mateo instead of Castillo or Wells.  Castillo they could trade a low level minor leaguer to the Phillies to be able to send him to the minors, and Wells could be trade bait if he doesn’t make the rotation.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs will play a B game Monday vs Indians in Goodyear. Randy Wells to pitch. Travis Wood will face #Mariners in Peoria 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Tribune: Sveum says Dolis looks like he’ll be set-up guy with K-Wood, though it’s not set in stone. Experience not a factor

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Tribune: 
    Samardzija a near lock for rotation, Sveum says. One spot left for Wells, Volstad, Lopez or T-Wood

    • Ripsnorter1

      IMO, Travis Wood is no option at all. Mechanics are messed up. And Lopez is highly unlikely, imo, since his age is advanced and he is not a prospect anymore. It’s up to Wells to earn this last spot, or Volstad to lose it. I want Wells. 

      • Tony_Hall

        What if he has a good final 3 starts.  He has options, so I agree that I think he is going to Iowa.  Lopez never had a chance, he was always #8 or #9 and pitching in Iowa.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Maybe he will, but I really doubt it. His mechanics this ST are messed up. But maybe he can fix it before the next start.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Updated lineup for game in Vegas against Rangers:

    Sappelt – CF
    DeWitt – LF
    Soriano – DH
    LaHair – 1B
    Mather – RF
    Clevenger – C
    Gonzalez – 3B
    Lake – SS
    Scales – 2B

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tarp was just placed on the infield at HoHoKam

  • Ripsnorter1

    Neil,

    What do you think? Does Baker make the team?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

       Yes, Baker will make the team.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Tarp coming off the field now so it’ll be a little bit of a delay to start. Rain all around but sun’s actually out.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: First pitch for Cubs-W Sox in Mesa set for 30 minutes or exactly 1:41 p.m local time (3:41)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Zach Stewart is starting for the Sox today. Floyd got his work in at Sox complex in Glendale due to the weather

  • cubtex

    Volstad works extremely quickly.

  • cubtex

    I see Sonnanstine is getting pounded again vs the White Sox. What a waste of a roster spot.

    • cubtex

      5 runs given up by Sonnanstine in the inning

      • Ripsnorter1

        He’s our 6th starter and long man out of the pen!

        • cubtex

          No chance. I bet he is waived shortly.

          • cubtex

            I guess I should take that back. If they trade Wells….maybe he is

          • Ripsnorter1

            You and I would not have even considered this guy. Jethro put him on the 40 man and cut DeWitt when we don’t have a decent 3B–unless batting .156 with 0 HRs and 6 RBI is considered a decent 3B. So I don’t think you can speak with certainty that he’s cut soon. Their roster moves are baffling.

          • cubtex

            fair point. he has been hammered his last 2 outings. I hope they just release this guy.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Me, too. 

  • Anthony

    Tom U

    Thanks

    • Tom U

      You’re Welcome! What for?

      • Anthony

        Unfortunately, you will know soon.

        I won’t make a post once the details are known, but the business of baseball can be unfair. I would suggest asking Neil for a direct contact. Thanks, and best to all posters on this site.

        signoff

        • Ripsnorter1

          Don’t tell me you are jumping the CCO? And if so, let me say….DON’T DO IT. 

        • SuzyS

           ???

        • paulcatanese

          Don’t know you’re reasons, but if you are feeling that strong about it, good luck and have enjoyed you’re posts.You have my E-Mail address if you wish to contact.

        • http://twitter.com/Golfnut70Bob OttawaBob

          ……..another one of your cryptic messages.

      • Anthony

        HOPE

        1. Business
        2. Politics
        3. Invested talent
        4. Other talent

  • cubtex

    Mather!!

  • cubtex

    Cubs Win!!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs (SS) beat Rangers (SS) 3-2 Sunday afternoon

    Chris Volstad: 1R, 4H, 0BB, 3K, 4IP; Blake Parker: 0R, 0H, 1BB,
    1K, 2IP, Joe Mather: 1-for-3, HR, BB; Alfonso Soriano: 0-for-1, SAC, RBI

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Brett Jackson just walked with the bases loaded in the 8th to force in the Cubs’ fourth run.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Vitters works a bases loaded walk, game tied at 5 in the eighth.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs (SS) lost 7-5 in 10 innings to White Sox on Sunday
    afternoon

     

    Casey Coleman: 0R, 2H, 0BB, 3K, 3IP; Kerry Wood: 0R, 2H, 0BB,
    0K, 1IP; Carlos Marmol: 0R, 0H, 1BB, 0K, 1IP; Starlin Castro: 2-for-3, 2B; Josh
    Vitters: 2-for-4, 2B, BB, RBI, 2R

    • cubtex

      Nice to see Vitters bounce back after a terrible game

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

      I really can’t get into how wins and losses have anything to do with having a good spring. But that being said it is good that we won one today.

  • cubtex

    I don’t know how many of you have watched any spring games but Soriano has noticeably shortened his front leg kick when he bats. Smart move as he is getting older. He has looked very good and if he hits……I can’t see why an AL team fighting for the playoffs would not want to pick up his bat this summer if the Cubs pick up enough of his contract.

    • Tony_Hall

      Hope so!  – Just no ones going to pay $15M :)

      • cubtex

        He can still hit and he seems to be moving better. I think he is going to have a good year.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I would be willing to go out on a limb and predict he’ll have a better year than Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters, combined.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Well, I am ready to see how this roster will shake out at the end of ST. 

      • cubtex

        I think the pitching staff can almost be written down. With Mateo struggling, he won’t make it. I think it will be what I posted above(barring any trades) The only difference is if they go with another lefty instead of Maine, but please not Trever Miller!

        Mather is making a case as an extra outfielder and Cardenas should be on the team as well.

    • SuzyS

       cubtex,  I never liked the Soriano signing from day one…because it really didn’t make BASEBALL sense….just
      SELLING the team sense at the time.
      Soriano, (through no fault of his own), hasn’t been able to live up to initial expectations (when he hurt his legs that first season). BUT he did get the Cubs in contention and help sell the team.

      Right now…I don’t even know what a good season for Sori is anymore…I sure hated watching him flail at low and away pitches the last several years.

      But 3 years at 18 million left on his contract is unpalatable to everyone. He HAS to hit…or the Cubs should just DFA him and rework the contract into a personal services deferred contract….I do not see anyone needing or wanting him.

      • http://twitter.com/Golfnut70Bob OttawaBob

        Rework the contract??  that would never fly with the union.

      • cubtex

        Suzy. He hit 26 HR  with 88 RBI last year. He had his highest RBI total since 2006. He is moving better this spring and has shortened that high leg kick to help get his bat through the zone a tad quicker. To even discuss DFA ing this guy now to be just is mindboggling. Yes he is not the same player he was 10 years ago but he will lead the Cubs in HR’s this year and RBI still (imo)