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.

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Quote of the Day

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