The White Team beat the Blue Team for the second day in a row in Intrasquad action on Friday afternoon at HoHoKam Park. Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer and Edwin Maysonet added a three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the fifth off Jensen Lewis to lead the White Team to the 6-3 victory. Brett Jackson went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a run scored, a RBI and a stolen base. Dale Sveum was encouraged by the eight total walks in the game by his two offenses … but not too thrilled that his pitching staffs issued eight free passes.
Kyuji Fujikawa threw a scoreless inning on Friday in his first appearance in a Cubs’ uniform.
The Cubs announced Ian Stewart will miss the next few days after undergoing a MRI on Friday, and Josh Vitters is listed as day-to-day with a quad strain. The Cubs also announced Friday that if all goes well following Saturday’s side session, Scott Baker could see action in the Cactus League within ten days.
Brett Jackson had a good day at the park on Friday with his new swing. While it was just an intrasquad game, Jackson went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, a run scored, a RBI and a stolen base, and was glad to see results with his new swing.
“It’s a big confidence boost. I worked really hard this off-season. To make a muscle-memory adjustment is a pain … to see results is good. I’m going to keep pounding on that to reinforce it is second nature.”
Dale Sveum was happy with what he saw from Jackson on Friday, and explained that Jackson took advantage of some mistakes made by the pitchers where in the past he would have missed those same mistakes.
The offenses reportedly did their jobs in Friday’s intrasquad game. The hitters were patient and worked eight walks between both teams. The White Team won 6-3 over the Blue Team after falling behind 3-1 early in the game.
Luis Valbuena sounds like he has all but locked up a spot on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster, and he tied the game at three in the fourth with a two-run homer off Michael Bowden. The scrimmage remained tied at three until the bottom of the fifth when Edwin Maysonet ripped a three-run homer off Jensen Lewis to give the White Team the win.
Dave Sappelt was 3-for-3 and Jorge Soler worked another walk.
Alberto Cabrera and Brooks Raley made the starts on Friday at HoHoKam Park and reportedly both pitchers struggled throwing strikes. Cabrera walked four batters in his two innings of work and Dale Sveum was not pleased.
“Couple of them it’s the same old thing. Bullpen (sessions) are good and a batter steps in there and they’re not throwing strikes.”
While the hitters appear to be following the game plan set forth by the coaching staff, several of the young pitchers are still having issues with throwing strikes, even in a more-than-meaningless practice game.
Cactus League Opener
The Cubs make the short trip to Tempe on Saturday to open their Cactus League schedule against an Angels split squad team. Travis Wood is starting for the Cubs and is scheduled to throw two innings. Dale Sveum released his first lineup of the spring on Friday … and this is how the Cubs will lineup:
- Logan Watkins – 2B
- Dave Sappelt – CF
- Anthony Rizzo – 1B
- Scott Hairston – RF
- Luis Valbuena – 3B
- Welington Castillo – C
- Brett Jackson – LF
- Brent Lillibridge – SS
- Darnell McDonald – DH
Ian Stewart will miss a few days after undergoing an MRI on his left quad. Stewart feels there is a mild strain, and the injury happened when he was running to first on a double in Thursday’s Intrasquad game. Results of the MRI were unknown on Friday.
Ian Stewart is battling for a job this spring and from the way it sounds he needs to show his manager that he is ready to play baseball. Sveum reiterated on Friday that the third base job is Stewart’s to win this spring. Sveum also said he knows that Luis Valbuena can handle third base defensively and he does not have to play third base this spring in order to get his at bats.
Spring Training News Bites
Dale Sveum said Friday that Scott Baker is not on the schedule to pitch in the first week of Cactus League games. Baker is scheduled to throw a side session on Saturday and depending on how he feels afterwards he could pitch in a simulated game or a Cactus League game within 10 days.
Alberto Cabrera, Shawn Camp, Rafael Lopez, Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro, Edwin Jackson, Nick Struck, Casey Coleman, Tim Buss and David DeJesus advanced to the third round of the Cubs bunting tournament on Friday.
Josh Vitters confirmed that he did suffer a strain to his quad on Thursday. The Cubs were not sure if he would need a MRI to determine the severity. Vitters is listed as day-to-day said he would “just take it easy” and let the injury heal.
As the Spring Training games are set to begin, there are few spots available on the Cubs’ roster according to the Tribune.
Brent Lillibridge is banking on his versatility according to the Sun-Times.
According to Paul Sullivan, the Cubs have not made a decision on whether or not they will continue playing “Go Cubs Go” after victories at Wrigley Field. Sullivan indicated the team will probably stay with the tradition.
And last, but not least … The CCO is in Arizona and will be at the first four games of the Cubs’ Cactus League schedule … make sure to follow on Twitter for updates and photos from the parks, and check the site throughout the weekend for updates.