Spring Training Game Thirty-Five: Cubs (16-16-2) vs. Brewers (SS) (15-14)
Game Time – 2:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: 720 WGN
Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa
Travis Wood (1-2, 17.28/2.88) vs. Kyle Heckathorn (0-0, -.–/-.–)
Dale Sveum’s team will suit up one last time this afternoon and take the field at HoHoKam Park for the final game of the 2012 Cactus League schedule. The Cubs have shown a lot of improvement since the first game back on March 4 against the Athletics and they will try to leave Mesa on a positive note.
Dale Sveum is expected to run out his Opening Day lineup this afternoon against a Brewers’ split squad team. Jonathan Lucroy, Mat Gamel and Nyjer Morgan are the only Major Leaguers scheduled to play for Milwaukee this afternoon. The majority of the Brewers’ roster is slated to be made up of players from their Double-A affiliate, Huntsville Stars. Milwaukee has two games scheduled at Chase Field against the Diamondbacks before their season opener against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The final game of the Cactus League schedule all starts with Travis Wood … To say Travis Wood had a bad spring and did not pitch to expectations would be an understatement. Wood struggled with his command and the Cubs even thought about having him open the season in the Smokies’ rotation. Wood is expected to begin the 2012 campaign in Iowa’s rotation along with Randy Wells, Casey Coleman, Jay Jackson and Chris Rusin.
Travis Wood makes his fifth appearance, fourth start, in the Cactus League this afternoon. In four games, three starts, Wood has allowed 17 runs, 16 earned, on 18 hits with six walks and five strikeouts in just 8 1/3 innings. The southpaw allowed three runs on five hits without a walk and one strikeout in 3 2/3 innings in his last outing against the Padres.
Shawn Camp is also scheduled to pitch this afternoon.
Dale Sveum’s lineup for the Cactus League finale: David DeJesus (RF), Darwin Barney (2B), Starlin Castro (SS), Bryan LaHair (1B), Alfonso Soriano (LF), Ian Stewart (3B), Marlon Byrd (CF) and Geovany Soto (C).
Kyle Heckathorn, the 26th best prospect in the Brewers system according to Baseball America, makes his first start in the Cactus League this afternoon. The 23-year old right hander struggled in seven games at the Double-A level last season. Heckathorn was 0-4 in seven starts for the Huntsville Stars with a 7.18 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP after posting a 5-6 record with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP for Brevard County.
News and Notes
Jeff Samardzija made his last tune-up of the spring Monday with four scoreless innings at Fitch Park. Samardzija struck out six on 61 pitches. Samardzija finished his day by tossing 30 more pitches in a side session.
Chris Volstad is scheduled to make his final spring tune-up this afternoon in a minor league game.
According to a report from the Tribune, the Cubs found a mechanical flaw with David DeJesus that they think they’ve corrected. Dale Sveum said the problem could have a huge impact on why DeJesus’ numbers were down last year and have not been there this spring.
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