Spring Training Game Eight: Cubs (4-3) vs. Giants (SS) (2-2)
- Game Time – 2:05pm CST
- Coverage – TV: None – Radio: 720 WGN
- Location – Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale
Carlos Villanueva (0-0, 27.00/4.50) vs. Tim Lincecum (0-0, 20.25/3.00)
The Cubs make the short trip from Mesa to Scottsdale this afternoon to take on the Giants. Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs beat Matt Cain in the Giants, 4-3, in the HoHoKam Park opener last Sunday. The Cubs have one more match-up on the spring schedule with the World Champs, March 25 at HoHoKam Park.
The Cubs will look to get back on track today behind Carlos Villanueva. The Cubs played another sloppy game on Friday, but have played more good games this spring, than bad. While wins and losses do not matter in the spring, throwing strikes, not walking batters, making routine throws and catching the ball does.
Steve Clevenger is scheduled to start at first base this afternoon.
While the Cubs and Giants square off in Scottsdale, the other half of the Giants roster will make the trip to Surprise to take on the Kansas City Royals
Len Kasper and Keith Moreland will call the action on 720 WGN.
This afternoon all begins with Carlos Villanueva …
Carlos Villanueva’s first appearance in a Cubs’ uniform didn’t exactly go as planned. Carlos Villanueva hit his pitch limit with just two outs in the first inning. Dee Gordon put together a 15-pitch at bat to begin the contest, and Villanueva was unable to recover from the lengthy plate appearance. Villanueva issued back-to-back walks then a two out single to Nick Punto. Villanueva departed after allowing two runs on one hit with two walks and one strikeout in two-thirds of an inning.
Villanueva is looking to bounce back this afternoon, and prove to the coaching staff that he deserves a shot in the rotation.
Tim Lincecum also had a bad outing in his first start of the spring. Lincecum gave up three runs on four hits to the Dodgers in 1 1/3 innings. Lincecum did not walk a batter and struck out one, but reportedly he threw the ball much better than his final line indicated.
Cubs News Bits
Steve Clevenger is now in the mix to break camp with the big league team. Reports last week indicated that Clevenger had been told he would begin the year as the I-Cubs everyday catcher. With the uncertainty that is Ian Stewart, the Cubs are looking for options to help fill out the bench. Clevenger will not only spend time at first base, but he is expected to see time in the outfield, third base and second base.
Edwin Jackson is scheduled to face Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers on Sunday in Mesa while Nick Struck will make his first start of the spring in Tempe against the Angels. Sunday is the first of five split squad days for the Cubs in the Cactus League.
Starlin Castro is not expected to play again until Monday. Reports on Friday indicated that Castro is fine, the Cubs are going to hold him out of action to make sure the injury does not linger.
Dontrelle Willis is back in minor league camp. According to multiple reports, Willis is pain free and throwing again after leaving last Monday’s game with shoulder tightness.
The Cubs roster is making Alfonso Soriano feel young again.
According to Patrick Mooney, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer wrapped up Kyuji Fujikawa’s two-year contract before leaving for the Winter Meetings. Reports at the time had the Angels as the frontrunner to sign Fujikawa but as it turns out, the Dodgers were in the mix as well. Fujikawa was actually locked out of Dodgers Stadium and that might have created an opening for the Cubs according to Mooney.
Mark Prior signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds that did not include an invite to big league camp.
Anthony Rizzo will join Team Italy on Monday to prepare for the World Baseball Classic.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …