Talkin’ Cubs Live – The Split Squads – 03/17/13

Spring Training Game Twenty-Four: Cubs (ss) (10-12) vs. Rangers (ss) (10-10)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: MLB.tv (Rangers) – Radio: 720 WGN
  • Location – Cashman Field, Las Vegas

Carlos Villanueva (0-1, 5.87/1.83) vs. Robbie Ross (1-0, 3.86/1.37)

Spring Training Game Twenty-Five: Cubs (ss) (10-12) vs. Athletics (8-10)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN-TV – Radio: None
  • Location – Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix

Scott Baker (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Tommy Milone (1-0, 3.12/1.27)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the CCO …

The Cubs full weekend of games concludes today with the last of three straight split squad games. While Dale Sveum and half the roster take on the Rangers at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Jamie Quirk will call the shots for the other half of the roster, plus some minor leaguers against the A’s in Phoenix.

All eyes will be on Scott Baker today as he makes his Cubs’ debut in Phoenix. Baker makes his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery last April. The Cubs are happy with the way Baker has progressed this spring. This afternoon is the first step to Baker being able to join the Cubs’ rotation in mid-April. Baker threw in a minor league game last Tuesday and should not be in there for longer than two innings this afternoon.

Javier Baez is in the starting lineup for the game against the A’s. Baez is expected to be re-assigned to minor league camp on Monday.

Pat Hughes and Keith Moreland will call the action from Vegas on 720 WGN while Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies have the game in the valley between the Cubs and Athletics on WGN-TV.

This afternoon it all starts with Carlos Villanueva and Scott Baker

Spring Training Game Twenty-Four: Cubs (ss) (10-12) vs. Rangers (ss) (10-10)

The Cubs will be listed as the home team this afternoon when they wrap up the two-game series against the Rangers.

Carlos Villanueva makes his fourth Cactus League start this afternoon. Villanueva pitched in a minor league game last Tuesday to get his work in and reportedly tossed three innings of shutout ball. Villanueva last pitched in a big league game on March 7 against the White Sox. Villanueva allowed two runs on six hits over four innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Villanueva is slated to start the fifth game of the regular season.

In the Cactus League this spring, Carlos Villanueva has allowed five runs on 11 hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings (three starts).

The Cubs will get their second look of the spring at lefty Robbie Ross. Ross beat Hisanori Takahashi and the Cubs back on March 6 in Surprise, 3-2. The Cubs were a miserable 1-for-10 with RISP and left six on base in the loss. Ross has been very good for Ron Washington this spring. In four Cactus League appearances, two starts, Ross has allowed five runs on 12 hits with four walks and four strikeouts (11 2/3 innings).

Spring Training Game Twenty-Five: Cubs (ss) (10-12) vs. Athletics (8-10)

Scott Baker signed with the Cubs in the off-season with hopes of turning a one-year, $5.5 million deal (includes $1.5 million in incentives) into a long term contract once he shows the league he is healthy. Baker has not pitched a full season since 2010 when he posted a 12-9 record in 29 starts with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Baker was 8-6 in 23 games, 21 starts, for the Twins in 2011 with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP that included 123 strikeouts and only 32 walks. For his career, Baker owns close to a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio (770 strikeouts and 224 walks).

Today figures to be an emotional one for Scott Baker as he makes his first start in a big league game since August 8, 2011.

The Cubs will face a very good southpaw this afternoon in Tommy Milone. Milone is coming off an excellent first full year at the big league level. Milone was 13-10 in 31 starts for Oakland a year ago with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP after he ended up in an A’s uniform as part of the Gio Gonzalez deal with the Nationals.

Milone makes his fourth Cactus League start this afternoon. In 8 2/3 innings over his first three starts, Malone has allowed three runs on nine hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup in Vegas:

    Valbuena – 3B
    Barney – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Schierholtz – RF
    Hairston – CF
    Navarro – DH
    McDonald – LF
    Nelson – 1B
    Boscan – C

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup in Phoenix:

    DeJesus – DH
    Baez – SS
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Lillbridge – CF
    Sappelt – RF
    Castillo – C
    Ch. Villanueva – 3B
    Gonzalez – 2B

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs cut seven from camp on Sunday morning: Baez,
    Soler, Vitters, Lake, Ch.Villanueva, Loux and R.Lopez.

    Baez, Soler to play Major League game Monday against the Padres before leaving

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Stewart is having an MRI on his left quad on Monday … that will sideline him for another three days, at least.

    • calicub

      Assuming stewarts not ready for opening day, do you think it more likely the cubs will cut him or rehab him at AAA?

      At this point I’d be happier with a three way split between clevenger, LV and Lillibridge and cutting our loses…

      • calicub

        Although with clevenger being able to take 1b 3b and catcher and LV ss 2b and 3b, lillibridge would seem to be redundant at that pont let alone the need for an extra roster spot..

      • SuzyS

        I do think Stewart’s quad thing is legit…and they don’t heal quite that fast….However, the timing is extremely unfortunate for both Stewart and the Cubs.
        One thing about Sveum…he seems to have a definite doghouse…and once you get in it…it seems to be extremely hard to get out of it…without him saying so.
        Considering all we’ve invested in Stewart…including losing roster spots and players…I do want to see him on the field…AND …producing…before we say good bye.

        • calicub

          Agreed Susy. It wouldn’t feel right if he hooked on for another team after all the Cubs FO has investd in him. But his make up certainly doesn’t mesh well with Sveum’s coaching style either..

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        A couple of weeks ago it looked like they would move on from Stewart, but that no longer appears to be the case. At this point, I think he stays in Arizona to rehab then reports to Kane County once he is ready to go. They can keep an eye on him in Kane County, once he is healthy I would think Iowa would be the last stop.

        Remember, beginning this year, they will use Kane County more for rehab assignments for obvious reasons.

        • calicub

          Right, thanks Neil. Obviously money’s not the concern, its just gotta be so frustrating for the front office watching this transpire when his wrist seems to be fixed.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Sveum does not seemed too thrilled with him, that is for sure.

        • Tony_Hall

          Can’t they just cut him and sign him to a new minor league contract? (Pre-arranged deal)

          It’s not like anyone is going to offer him a major league contract without playing in some games first. The contract can be written to be for his same pay if he gets called up.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Tony, I am not sure how that would work. If he is hurt, I don’t know how the union would feel about that.

          • Tony_Hall

            How would they feel about just cutting him from the team?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Well played .. I don’t know about them, but …

          • Tony_Hall

            I know you are ready to move on from him, but I would like to see him go to the minors and get healthy and then come up and look decent enough to flip. Last year and this year is when we needed him.

            There are more than enough guys that will be ready by later half of this year to fill 3B and by next year we could have to choose between more than 1 good player.

          • Tarzan Joe

            flip for what? an Easter basket. please; the only more unbelievable than the city of Chicago not allowing Ricketts to spend 500M of his own money is thoe and jed’s justification of keeping this bum stewart around. both are a joke.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Tony, quick question and I am not trying to be sarcastic. Can he get healthy?

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t know, that is a good question. But if they could cut him, resign him to a minor league contract it would remove him from the 40 man roster and give him time to hopefully heal and see.

            I don’t see him around after this year, the whole hope would be to get him healthy and playing and that the 3B market is so weak, that a team in contention may have a need and trade for him.

    • RynoTiger

      I’m wondering if anyone can confirm a rumor that I’m hearing. When Sveum heard of the news of Stewart’s latest setback, he was so angry that he punched a locker and looked at Stewart and angrily yelled “Get off my plane!”
      anyone hear that?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Villanueva did not get the call on a 3-2 pitch to Mitch Moreland, Moreland crushed the next pitch … over the wall in right, the ball has not landed yet.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Long first inning for Villanuva, Rangers hit him pretty hard

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Baker is out after one out in the first. Hit his pitch count limit. Main thing with Baker is how he feels tomorrow.

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent throw by Castillo

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another good at bat by Sappelt against a lefty …

    • Tony_Hall

      He sure looks to be a good platoon partner against lefties. Nice defensive play as well.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Agreed

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Lillibridge with a two-run homer to tie the game

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tim Saunders with a long two-run homer in Vegas

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 12-6 to the A’s on Sunday afternoon in
    the Cactus League. Scott Baker: 3R, 3H (1HR), 2BB, 0K in 0.1 IP (23 pitches, 12
    strikes)

    Cubs on Sunday in Phoenix – Dave Sappelt: 2-4,
    HR, 3RBI, R, SB; Javier Baez: 2-5, 2B, RBI; Brent Lillibridge: 2-3, HR, 2B, 2RBI, 2R

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs dropped second game in Vegas 8-5 to Rangers on Sunday afternoon. Carlos Villanueva: 3R, 4H (1HR), 3BB, 2K in 4IP

    Cubs on Sunday in Las Vegas – Starlin Castro: 1-2, BB; Nate Schierholtz: 2-3, HR; Tim Saunders: 12, HR, 2RBI