Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Indians – 03/04/13

Spring Training Game Eleven: Cubs (5-5) vs. Indians (6-5)

  • Game Time – 2:05pm CST
  • Coverage – TV: None – Radio:
  • Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa

Alberto Cabrera (0-0, 6.75/1.50) vs. Carlos Carrasco (0-0, 27.00/5.00)

After dropping three of four spring games in three days, the Cubs will get back to work this afternoon against the Cleveland Indians. Dale Sveum’s team has two more Cactus League match-ups with the Indians this spring, March 9 at HoHoKam Park, and March 24 in Goodyear.

Alberto Cabrera makes his second appearance of the spring, first start today. Cabrera had mixed results in his first game against the Dodgers. Cabrera was very good for the first two innings before he ran out of gas. The Cubs view Cabrera as a starter moving forward, and he is ticketed for Iowa’s rotation to begin the season.

Sirius/XM Radio is in Cubs’ camp today. Casey Stern and Jim Bowden will discuss the Cubs during Inside Pitch from 1:00pm CST to 5:00pm CST.

Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie will call the action once again on

This afternoon all begins with Alberto Cabrera

After multiple reports indicated that Alberto Cabrera struggled in the Intrasquad games at HoHoKam Park prior to the beginning of the Cactus League schedule, his performance out of the Cubs’ pen last Wednesday came as a bit of a surprise. Cabrera has a big arm, and an even bigger upside, but like too many of the Cubs’ young pitchers, he has problems throwing strikes. Cabrera made 25 appearances out of the Cubs’ pen a year ago and was 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP … in 21 2/3 innings, Cabrera issued 18 walks, struck out 27 batters and allowed 16 hits.

Cabrera was very good over the first two innings last Wednesday before the Dodgers strung together hits and put runs on the board. Cabrera ended up going 2 2/3 innings in his first spring game, and was charged with two runs on four hits with three strikeouts … but more importantly, no walks.

Alberto Cabrera could increase his stock with Dale Sveum and front office if he can pitch the way he did against the Dodgers this afternoon.

Brad Nelson gets the start at first base this afternoon with Anthony Rizzo leaving the team to participate in the WBC. Jorge Soler will serve as the team’s DH while Steve Clevenger will start behind the plate.

The Cubs face Carlos Carrasco today, well at least for the first two innings. Carrasco is battling for a spot in the Indians rotation, and is coming off a bad first outing of the spring. Carrasco allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits with a walk and a strikeout in one inning. Carrasco posted an 8-9 record in 21 starts for the Indians in 2011 with a 4.62 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP … he missed last season.

Zach McAllister and Trevor Bauer are expected to follow Carrasco in the Indians’ pitching rotation this afternoon … all three pitchers are vying for the fifth spot in Cleveland’s rotation.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Valbuena SS
    McDonald CF
    Hairston RF
    Soriano LF
    Clevenger C
    Lake 3B
    Nelson 1B
    Soler DH
    Watkins 2B

    • paulcatanese

      Glad to see Lake at third base again today. He can continue to increase his stock by having good games there.
      Got to watch a few innings this AM, Cubs and Angels. One good observation, the hitters looked like they were in tune with the philosophy of “the Cub way”. Hitting the ball on the right side with a runner on second, going after the high pitch and chasing a runner home from third, that was encouraging.
      the down side of that is(not really the down side) was that the players who did that are not yet on the Major League roster, and that is still to be determined how much of that is rubbed off on the big team.
      While hard for me to get in tune with mostly Minor League players and will have to wait until the actual season begins, they were impressive.

      • Theboardrider

        This is good news! Probably pretty hard to change the approach of established major leaguers, but if they can consistently produce guys that do this it can’t help but be good for the Cubs!

        • paulcatanese

          Absolutly correct.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Keith Moreland said on Saturday’s radio broadcast that he thinks it is impossible to make Darwin Barney an “on base guy.” He said it is pretty much impossible to change ML hitters into high on base percentage hitters when they have got to the MLs being free swingers.

        • triple

          That is spot on… And agree with what Rip relayed that Moreland said, if they’ve already made it, it will be much harder to change. At least there’s not many offensive holdovers on the team that will be around for years, besides Castro, Barney, and Rizzo. And mentioning Barney is even just speculation, but I imagine we’ll have him around for at least a couple more years.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I get the sneaking suspicion that Barney is not long for the Cubs world. With Baez, Lake and Castro all needing spots to play (assuming they all pan out), I can see Barney getting traded at some point. He got a fair amount of chatter last trade deadline.

          • triple

            I agree, however, seeing how we won’t really know if Lake or Baez are really MLB material until they are playing well in the majors, I wouldn’t expect that either won’t be spending a full year in Chicago until the ’15 season (maybe Lake gets there in ’14). And by then, Lake may be more of an outfielder then anyway. Depending on who the Cubs have in their infield, and where their needs are then, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs keep him around a little longer even as a back infielder. Of course that won’t be an option if he’s still winning gold gloves, and if the Cubs have a 2B who’s swinging a big bat, then they can trade him and net a pretty good return for a gold glove player who would still have a couple years of team control.

  • Neil

    Soriano with his first HR of the spring

  • Neil

    Cubs pitching getting rocked today

  • Neil

    Cubs pounded 13-5 by Indians in Cactus League
    play on Monday afternoon.

    Soriano: 2-for-2,HR; Watkins: 1-for-3,2B,RBI,R;
    Cabrera: 5R,7H,BB,K,2.2IP; Cubs pitching: 13R,20H,6BB,3HR,7K

  • Tom U

    Infielder/Outfielder Tim Saunders is back in the lead in of our minor league poll. Outfielder Reggie Golden and RHP Dillon Maples are tied for second. Multi-position player Stephen Bruno has now entered the Top 20.

    You can continue to vote for your favorite minor league player here, on facebook, or at @TheCCO_Minors on Twitter

    • Rich Hood

      Team Theo must be pretty impressed with Saunders as well with him getting a shot with the big club in a split squad game yesterday.