Day Thirteen of Cubs Camp: The White Team Comes Out on Top Again in Intrasquad Play

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

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.

Jackson from ESPN Chicago:

“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.

Intrasquad Action

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.

Dale Sveum from ESPN Chicago:

“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:

  1. Logan Watkins – 2B
  2. Dave Sappelt – CF
  3. Anthony Rizzo – 1B
  4. Scott Hairston – RF
  5. Luis Valbuena – 3B
  6. Welington Castillo – C
  7. Brett Jackson – LF
  8. Brent Lillibridge – SS
  9. Darnell McDonald – DH

Ian Stewart

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.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"The man says 'play ball' not 'work ball,' you know." - Willie Stargell
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  • Tony_Hall

    Have fun in Arizona!

  • http://twitter.com/Jilogethan Wes Renne

    What are the chances Stewart could get cut? Showed up last minute, already hurt, and lets not even bring up how bad he was last year.

    • Brp921

      I think if he shows any offense at all third base is his.

  • SuzyS

    “Test”. Neil..I assume that’s you testing your mobile gear in Arizona….Have a wonderful time….I look forward to your first hand observations!!!
    It seems to me that the Cubs are committed to giving BJAX another opportunity if his newly retooled swing can produce any fruit…so your personal thoughts on how he looks would be of great interest.
    It’s an entirely different story on Vitters…His path seems to be entirely uphill with not a ton of support at this point.
    To me, one of the keys to a successful season this year is to identify who is going to be OUR viable, productive 3rd baseman for 2014 and beyond. Lots of candidates…who is going to step forward by the end of the season?

  • Cubs1967

    Huh, Go Cubs Go is the fan’s way of “willing” the Cubs to victory and is our celebration. The 7th inning stretch has become a circus. Go Cubs Go still brings a chill up my spine as it shows Cubs fans will to see a championship. You never stop it. Fans will sing
    It w/o the music. It’s why Cubs fans are the best. And the song is from a Cubs fan.
    There is no debate. Kenny Crane or whatever Ricketts family member needs to drop the thought. Real fans know better.

    • Sean

      Go cubs go sucks! We’re not willing the team to victory. It is g@y!! We should just play a pearl jam song after each game? Ideas guys?

      • calicub

        By calling something g@y when presumably you meant stupid, lame or any one of a thousand other non-offensive words, you lose complete validity in your statement. I understand cutting ties with the past as part of an attempt at revving a winning way in the Organization, but say as much. There’s no need to be ignorant or abrasive…

        Besides, what Pearl Jam song or any song for that matter mentions the Cubs or would be wholly relevant to the jubilation of a Cub’s win?

        • 07GreyDigger

          I don’t like Go Cubs Go either. Maybe they can come up with an updated song, like Chelsea Dagger is for the Hawks. Now that’s a tune!

          • calicub

            Be better than going back to “here come the cubs” by the beach boys

  • Brp921

    I hope Sveum is just trying to light a fire under Stewart. His remark that Stewart has to win the position, or that he knows Valbuena can play third so he can play other positions during spring training is a little puzzling other wise, since we also know Stewart can play third base, maybe better than Valbuena. The question is can he become a good hitter again. At his worst last year he had as good a bat as Valbuena. It was always frustrating when Dusty Baker had his favorites and played them regardless whether they hit. To put one player in a position to have to play his way in to the line up on a one hundred loss team when he’s better than the rest at his position seems a little rediculous. If he’s better than the other guy then play him, regardless of whether you think he could get more out of his potential, at least until someone better comes along.

  • Brp921

    I thought todays game was televised but I can’t find it on the channel grid. Can anybody help?

    • SuzyS

      WGN????…2pm???

      • Brp921

        Thanks Suzy, but I read in Neil’s latest post that there is no TV coverage. I’m bummed, I was really wanting to watch them.

        • calicub

          No Cubs on WGN until Mid-March Unfortunately