Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 03/22/13

Spring Training Game Thirty: Cubs (13-15) vs. Brewers (9-13-2)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN-TV – Radio: Cubs.com
  • Location – Maryvale Baseball Park, Phoenix

Carlos Villanueva (0-2, 6.17/1.80) vs. Yovani Gallardo (0-2, 7.27/1.27)

Countdown to Opening Day in Pittsburgh: 10 Days

The Cubs will spend their final Friday of the Cactus League schedule in Maryvale taking on one of their division rivals, the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers topped the Cubs back on March 3 at HoHoKam Park. The Cubs could not string together any hits against Marco Estrada while the Ryan Braun-less Brewers did just enough against Edwin Jackson and Drew Carpenter.

Today is the final meeting between the Cubs and Brewers this spring, the next time the two teams face off will be the home opener at Wrigley Field on April 8.

Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies will call today’s action on WGN-TV while Mick Gillispie will handle the play-by-play on Cubs.com.

This afternoon all starts with Carlos Villanueva …

Carlos Villanueva takes the hill this afternoon against one of his former teams in search of a good outing. Villanueva struggled in his last start against the Rangers in Las Vegas. Villanueva allowed three runs, all in the first inning, on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts in four innings. Villanueva struggled with his command, and it felt like he walked more than just three batters. Villanueva pitched from behind in the count seemingly throughout his outing.

This afternoon will be Villanueva’s fifth start in the Cactus League. Villanueva has allowed eight runs on 15 hits in the first four (11 2/3 innings) with eight strikeouts and six walks.

The Cubs will face the best the Brewers have to offer in Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo has made only three Cactus League starts due to his participation in the WBC. Gallardo was lights out in the classic. Gallardo has allowed seven runs on 11 hits with no walks and eight strikeouts over 8 2/3 innings.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    DeJesus – CF
    Castro – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Schierholtz – RF
    Castillo – C
    Valbuena – 3B
    Barney – 2B
    Villanueva – P

  • Tony_Hall

    Excellant article on Theo. Not sure if anyone has posted it yet.

    http://www.csnchicago.com/blog/cubs-talk/posnanski-epstein%E2%80%99s-cubs-winning-track-%E2%80%94-it-just-may-not-seem-way

    Theo on the free spending in free agency the last few years in Boston, after he stated that they had a gap in talent coming up through the system.

    “Forbidden fruit,” Epstein says of free agency and he shrugs. “We just didn’t have the patience to make it across the gap without giving into temptation. … Free agency is where you get your worst return on investment. It’s really that simple. The draft and the international market, that’s where you get your best return, dollar for dollar. And free agency is the worst return on investment.”

    Epstein shrugs again. “We knew that but we did it anyway. It was a negative lesson.”

    2013 season

    They know, realistically, this year could be tough too. Yes, they hope it will get better. The Cubs signed some starting pitching — headlined by Edwin Jackson — and they hope Castro and Rizzo and others will emerge, and a couple of guys will have career years and … they hope, but they know it could be brutal come August.

    “We all agreed to be transparent about it,” Epstein says. “We don’t think we’re anywhere close to being the organization that we will become.”

    The direction

    Epstein does not hold back when talk about where he wants that organization to be. “Offensively,” he says, “we want to control strike zone, be among the league leaders in on-base percentage every year. That’s how we’re going to score runs by getting on base and not making outs, having eight guys with good approaches, who can work the count into their favor and drive the ball.

    “But we don’t want to sacrifice defense to do that. We don’t just want eight guys who can slug. We want two-way players. And we want pitchers who throw ground balls, throw strikes, strike people out. We don’t want to make any sacrifices. We are trying to build a team that can do everything.”

    • triple

      Thanks for posting the link Tony!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thanks for posting Tony

  • Aaron

    It’s a shame Bogusevic got cut in favor of Sappelt, only because Sappelt’s right-handed. Sappelt swings at everything, and gets himself off-balance trying to do so. He’s a little man trying to play like a big power hitter, and it just doesn’t work. And the fact that Sveum said he’s played great defense in CF couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s regarded as a below average CF and average OF overall, and by my own eyeball test, he’s been subpar in CF this spring too, so I have no idea what he’s talking about. Perhaps he was just trying to justify his decision?

    I also don’t understand the decision to move forward (it seems) with A Gonzalez. I wanted to see more of Watkins, and we didn’t get that chance. They’ll need a waiver wire pick-up. They have Rizzo, Barney, Castro, Valbuena, and Lillibridge for the IF. They have Schierholtz, DeJesus, Soriano, Hairston, and Sappelt for the OF. Then, they have Castillo and Navarro for catcher. That’s 4 of 13 positional players that are lefty, and another one that is a switch hitter (Navarro).

    So…why again do they need another righty (Sappelt)?

    • Tony_Hall

      Aaron – This seems so opposite of your normal thoughts.

      You are in favor of a 29 year old, career 227/310/346 player over a 26 year old 256/314/369 player. Obviously short sample sizes on both.) The one player would play as a reserve only, as Soriano, DeJesus and Schierholtz will start against RH’s and other will start against LH’s as DeJesus and Schierholtz have not been good against LH’s.

      Sappelt has good numbers against LH pitchers, is the younger player and fill a role. Bogusevic, if he could play 3B would fill a need, but he is another LH hitting OF, that we just don’t need right now.

      On Watkins, he was never going to be the utility guy this year and was always going to go play 2B in Iowa. The last infield spot has not been decided and I would expect them to pick up a player as other teams get down to their final roster cuts and that that player will be a LH hitting utility infielder.

  • Pingback: Awesome Articles For Cubs Fans For March 22, 2013 | Chicago Cubs Dugout Online | Chicago Cubs Blog

  • calicub

    I didn’t realize Blake Lalli was now on the Brewers..

    Do the Brewers have another Casey McGeehee in the making?

  • calicub

    Great effort by Aramis on that one…
    Cubs 3B options may be abysmal, but I’m so happy to not have to watch his laziness anymore

    • triple

      Agree… and I did like Ramirez alot at first. As the years wore on, I just couldn’t stand his attitude. He just totally bailed on his teammates on that play. Spring training or not, if you’re being paid the money to live a comfortable life, you should be giving 100% all the time, especially when you walk onto that field!

      • Tony_Hall

        I still like ARam if I am team with World Series aspirations and enough other players that are quick starters, and veterans.

        • triple

          I can agree with that Tony… On bad Cubs teams he gave little effort. When he was on good Cubs teams he did give more effort, and USED TO come up big in the clutch all the time… That brings me back to the memories of why I liked him.

    • Ray Ray

      Yea. We got Valbuena/Stewart. Who needs a guy who hit .300 .360 OBP 50 doubles 27 HR’s and 105 RBI? Oh yea…. He is lazy so that makes up for those gawdy numbers!

      • Tony_Hall

        Would you rather have ARam last year, this year and next year or Jorge Soler in the minors, as a top prospect who will be around for the next decade?

        Not that they couldn’t have done both if they really wanted to, but it shows the difference in choices and philosophies.

        • Ray Ray

          Again. I am all for a rebuild but let me ask you this. Why can’t you put a better product on the field. I would have rather seen ARam at 3rd for a season or 2. Don’t waste a couple of million here and there on stupid signings. Gerardo Concepcion was stupid. Feldman was a waste of 5 mil IMO. Baker was not a good use of money. I would rather see a combination of Rusin/Coleman or whoever than sign 2 guys for 8 or 9 mil or whatever who won’t net a return. Use that 8 or 9 mil on a better starting 8.

          • Tony_Hall

            Aram was not available for a “season or two”. You can’t make up contracts.

            Concepcion I firmly believe led to Soler.

            Feldman and Baker haven’t even pitched one inning yet, and both are coming from the AL to pitch in the NL, give them some time to pitch in actual games.

            Rusin and Coleman are most likely not ready and if you are all for a VET like ARam at 3B for $10-$15M why are you so against 2 SP’s for $10M total.

          • Ray Ray

            Who’s making up contracts? Think grasshopper. You have the ability to trade ARam when your young talent is ready. True Feldman and Baker haven’t pitched yet but are you more confident they will be successful or not successful? And I don’t believe for a second Concepcion led to Soler. $ led to Soler. Concepcion was a desperation sign and a waste of money.

          • Tony_Hall

            Great point, we could have traded Aram, but he also had a say in this and once he knew that they were not going to go out and ADD to the old roster they had, I don’t believe he was interested in coming back to play.

            I am confident in Baker for sure. He will be fine, but only the ultra optimistic person expected him to pitch in April. Baker would not sign a 2 year contract and I believe he will resign with us to be one of the bridge pitchers until the young arms in the system start producing major league arms.

            Feldman I do expect to have lower numbers than in Texas and to be a serviceable 5th starter and to be an effective bullpen arm once Garza and Baker are back. I also expect him to be traded.

            I will wait on Concepcion until he pitches this year, but so far his money was a waste, IF, it didn’t grease the way for more Cuban signings, like Soler and others.

          • Ray Ray

            Lets just say Baker proves to be healthy by July. He pitches well for the last part of season. If a team like the Nationals, Braves or any other team who are playoff bound offer him a contract to be their #5 and he has a chance to be in a WS or he can come back to the Cubs? What would you do?

          • Tony_Hall

            Lots of assumptions there. Of course the teams you list already are at the stage where their system is producing young pitchers. I don’t expect either of them to be calling for Baker. But that is a possibility. I do believe they have already discussed his coming back in 2014.

      • BosephHeyden

        Aramis Ramirez only performs in the second half. We can do better than Valbuena/Stewart. But I’d prefer that better to be better all season.

        • calicub

          I agree watching ARAM turn it on once the Cubs were certainly out of contention was even more painful than watching him flail to start the season

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice outing for Villanueva

    6 IP 5 H 1 BB 4 SO

    • Ray Ray

      Now if you recall, I liked this signing. He was at least coming off a productive year. He is healthy. Can start or relieve. Gives up less hits per IP with just under a K per inning. I bet he will take Feldman’s spot in the rotation sooner rather than later.

      • Tony_Hall

        I will take Feldman to stay in the rotation longer than Villanueva…baring injury.

        • Ray Ray

          Feldman is Volstad 2.0.

          • Tony_Hall

            Volstad pitched in the NL and Feldman pitched in the AL in Arlington. Let’s give him a chance to pitch this year, before making judgements.

          • calicub

            I don’t deny that their two stats are similar, but I just don’t see the comparison. I think you completely ignore park factor with Feldman in your analysis of him.

            I’m going to be optimistic and take T. Wood over either of them

          • Brp921

            Let’s hope they can both do well in the rotation.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney with a 2-run homer …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Navarro with a pinch-hit homer, back-to-back jacks for the Cubs in the ninth

  • Tony_Hall

    Not exactly the way to make the team…3 run lead and walk the first batter on 4 pitches.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Brewers 4-1 in the Cactus League
    on Friday afternoon – Carlos Villanueva: 0R, 5H, 1BB, 4K in 6IP; Barney: 1-4, HR, 2RBI; Navarro: 1-1, HR; DeJesus:
    2-3, 10-game hit streak; Castro: 2-5