Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rangers – 03/19/13

Spring Training Game Twenty-Seven: Cubs (11-14) vs. Rangers (11-11)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Cubs.com
  • Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa

Chris Rusin (2-0, 0.69/0.69) vs. Alexi Ogando (1-1, 3.48/1.74)

Countdown to Opening Day in Pittsburgh: 13 Days

The Cubs and Rangers square off for the fourth and final time in the Cactus League this afternoon. The Rangers won the first game back on March 6 in Surprise and the two teams recently split the weekend series in Las Vegas. The Cubs and Rangers square off at Wrigley Field in the third week of the season (April 16 – April 18).

Dale Sveum is expected to run out his Opening Day lineup this afternoon, with the exception of Jeff Samardzija. Beginning today, Sveum’s everyday lineup will be playing deeper into games. And the games will be managed like regular season games, with substitutions and relievers used in the roles they will likely be in on Opening Day.

Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie will call today’s action on Cubs.com.

This afternoon all begins with Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin is coming off an excellent outing against the Dodgers. After issuing a leadoff walk to Mark Ellis on four pitches, Rusin settled down and dominated a majority of Don Mattingly’s everyday lineup. Rusin tossed five innings of shutout ball and allowed just two baserunners in his second start of the spring.

Chris Rusin makes his third start in the Cactus League this afternoon. In his first four appearances, two starts, Rusin has allowed one run on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts over 13 innings.

Chris Rusin has put himself in the mix to break camp in the Cubs’ pen … and if he keeps pitching the way he has, could he force Dale Sveum to change his mind on which five pitchers will begin the season in the rotation?

Today’s lineup:

  • DeJesus – CF
  • Castro – SS
  • Rizzo – 1B
  • Soriano – LF
  • Schierholtz – RF
  • Castillo – C
  • Valbuena – 3B
  • Barney – 2B
  • Navarro – DH

Alexi Ogando makes his third start and fifth appearance in the Cactus League this afternoon. Ogando has allowed six runs, four earned, on nine hits with nine strikeouts and 10 walks over 10 1/3 innings.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Corey Brock of MLB.com, beat writer for the Padres, is
    reporting the Cubs have acquired minor league outfielder Jose Dore from the Padres for a PTBNL or cash. He is the only outlet reporting this deal.

    Will post information if made official.

    • calicub

      Seems like a curious move…

      Doesn’t have great peripheral numbers. Maybe he’s a guy McLeod or hoyer really liked whe over there.

      • SuzyS

        Perhaps just a filler until Junior Lake comes back.

        • Aaron

          I definitely agree. The injuries to Lake, Jackson (minor), and Almora have already caused issues in depth, because it creates a trickle-down effect.

          And this just further illustrates the lack of quality depth position-talent wise that the Cubs are facing. I agree that pitching depth is also an issue, but with the likes of Garza (if he ever returns healthy), Samardzija, Jackson, Vizcaino, T. Wood, and then you have fringe guys like Feldman, Baker, and Villanueva as fillers, but the former 5 guys are the base of the rotation, and likely will be for a few years to come. If something happens to them (already did to Garza), then the Cubs better hope guys like Paniagua, Whitenack, P. Johnson, Jensen, etc. really pick up pace this year. The pen and position talent are real weaknesses for the Cubs this year.

          Think about what happens if Soriano, DeJesus, Rizzo, or Castro go down. How about Fujikawa, Russell, and Marmol?

          The Cubs really don’t have much to choose from in either of those areas.

          The way I see it, starting pitching should be the least of their worries, and that’s precisely how they designed it this year taking chances on Villanueva, Baker, and Feldman, and then at the end of last year acquiring an injured Vizcaino.

          The one thing they didn’t do was fix the lineup. While Hairston has power and versatility in the OF, he is NOT the answer….not even close. He’s basically a .240’s and under type hitter. In fact, if you consider how well Bogusevic and Chavez have played this spring, you can see how the presence of Hairston really screwed the Cubs. He’s also well past his prime while the other two are not. I’m not saying they’d set the league on fire, but I’m just saying they’d be more exciting.

          And let’s not even get into the decision to essentially give 3B to a guy like Valbuena who struggles to hit his own weight, but is the perennial king of winter ball stats it seems.

          I agree that there weren’t really any options on the market for 3B (and supposedly they went hard after Keppinger), but they stood pat with Stewart and Valbuena, and rest assured, this will hurt them during the season.

          I know it won’t happen, but my hope for the Cubs lineup by the time the season is over would look like this:

          Jackson-CF
          Castro-SS
          Rizzo-1B
          Lake-LF
          Schierholtz-RF
          Vitters-3B (yeah, I know….but hopefully he takes off this yr)
          Watkins-2B
          Castillo-C

          I envision the Cubs trading Barney, Soriano, DeJesus, and cutting their losses with Stewart. .

          I doubt it will happen, but that lineup is what I’d hope would come to fruition by September. It’d be tough to trade Barney, but the fact is, he’s a negative on offense, and has limited speed. That’s where Watkins could really help, and plus, he’s not too shabby on defense himself.

  • Ray Ray

    So Stewart has not played 1 inning this spring, just got put on the DL and will now collect his entire 2 million salary for the year? Such a deal!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      if the Cubs would have cut bait on him he would have been paid his full salary anyway. The MLPA and the collective bargaining agreement has clauses in it about cutting a player because of injury. So if he stays on the DL all year it does not matter.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rusin laboring in the first. Already given up a couple of runs on two hits, hit a batter.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rusin gave up 2 in the first. A.J. Pierzynski with a double,
    Schierholtz made a diving catch that limited the damage. He’s pitching from behind today, simply cannot with his stuff.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano goes deep for 3rd time this spring … 2-run shot, over the berm in left.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rusin gave up 2 more in the second. Soriano threw out Gentry at second trying to tag on a sac fly to end the inning

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney with his first HR of the spring

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rusin surrendered just a single in the third. Castro with a walk in the third.

  • Pingback: Awesome Articles For Cubs Fans For March 19, 2013 | Chicago Cubs Dugout Online | Chicago Cubs Blog

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    1-2-3 4th for Rusin

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Back-to-back 1-2-3 innings for Rusin, Camp is warming in the pen in the bottom of the 5th

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Rangers 5-4 on Tuesday in the Cactus League – Chris Rusin: 4R, 7H, 0BB, 4K, HBP in 5IP

    Soriano: 1-3, HR, 2RBI; Barney: 1-3, HR; DeJesus: 2-3, R; Castro: 1-2, BB, R