Arodys Vizcaino threw live batting practice Saturday off the mound at Field 1. This is a good sign for Vizcaino and the Cubs. Vizcaino has thrown his bullpen sessions this spring. Saturday was the first time news surfaced that he threw batting practice.
Rick Renteria told ESPN Chicago that Vizcaino “looked very, very good” on Saturday and the coaching staff was “very pleased with his session.” According to the report, Vizcaino was “very sharp” with a “live fastball” and “was hitting his spots, burying pitches when he needed to.”
Arodys Vizcaino said he felt good afterwards and Rick Renteria is being “cautiously optimistic” in regards to how Vizcaino has pitched to this point in Spring Training.
The Exhibition Season
After a long winter and nearly two weeks of practice, there will be actual Cubs games this week, granted it is ‘just’ Spring Training games, but games nonetheless.
The Cubs will take on the Cubs at Cubs Park on Wednesday afternoon. Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to face Eric Jokisch, at least for an inning or two, in the Intrasquad game.
The Cubs kickoff their 2014 Cactus League schedule Thursday from Cubs Park. Rick Renteria’s full spring squad will take on a Diamondbacks’ split squad. Jeff Samardzija has already been tabbed to open the exhibition season. And WGN TV will broadcast the spring opener.
Rick Renteria’s team makes the short trip from Mesa to Tempe for a Friday afternoon contest against the Angels, then half of the roster will host the Giants on Saturday afternoon while a split squad will travel to Scottsdale for a Saturday night game against the Diamondbacks. The Cubs wrap up the first weekend of Cactus League games by hosting the Royals on Sunday afternoon.
Jake Arrieta threw from flat ground Saturday (90 feet) and said his shoulder “felt fine after playing long toss.” Arrieta said Friday he was hoping to pitch off a mound at some point during the upcoming week. Mark Gonzales reported Saturday a bullpen session for Arrieta “isn’t imminent” at this point.
While Arrieta remains optimistic he will be on the Opening Day roster, he is quickly running out of time to avoid starting the season on the DL. Rick Renteria told Jesse Rogers that Arrieta “still has quite a bit to go before he gets back on a mound.”
Nate Schierholtz returned to practice Saturday and was able to participate after being sent home Friday following a collision with Junior Lake during outfield drills. Schierholtz told Mark Gonzales that he had a sore jaw after being hit in the side of head on Friday. Schierholtz told the beat reporters he never lost consciousness but did see stars “for a second.”
Starlin Castro reported to camp ready to put last season behind him. Castro spent the winter working out with Tim Buss in the Dominican then spent the final month of the off-season at a training facility in Bradenton, Fla. Castro is reportedly leaner than a year ago. Plus he changed the prescription in his contacts which is helping him in the cages.
Starlin Castro spent time after practice working on his defense Saturday afternoon.
Construction on what is now known as Wrigley Field began on February 23, 1914 … exactly 100 years ago today. It took 60 days and an estimated $250,000 to complete Weeghman Park. The Chicago Federals (Whales) played their first game on April 23 against the Kansas City Packers. Art Wilson hit two home runs that afternoon thus becoming the first player to homer at Wrigley Field. Chicago beat Kansas City 9-1.
The Cubs moved from West Side Grounds to Weeghman Park in 1916 and renamed the field at the corner of Clark and Addison in 1920 to Cubs Park. William Wrigley Jr. renamed the ballpark, Wrigley Field, in 1926.
News and Notes
Neil Ramirez, Marcus Hatley, Arodys Vizcaino, Chang-Yong Lim, Armando Rivero and Alberto Cabrera were among the pitchers that threw live batting practice Saturday.
According to a report from Jesse Rogers, Josh Vitters did not realize Javier Baez broke a car window but pointed out Baez “hit every ball about 50 feet over the fence.”
Rick Renteria threw batting practice Saturday.
The Cubs have started posting motivational quotes on the daily schedules according to Carrie Muskat.
According to Mark Gonzales, due to four scheduled days off in the first three weeks of the regular season, the Cubs have the option of not using a fifth starter until April 22.
Tyler Colvin signed a minor league contract with the Giants. Colvin thought he had a Major League deal with Baltimore earlier in the off-season. Colvin did not pass the Orioles’ physical and was relegated to a minor league contract with an option to signing with another team if an offer presented itself. Bruce Bochy said Colvin will compete of a back-up outfielder job with the Giants.
The head of the MLBPA, Tony Clark said the union will seek to re-open talks on free-agent compensation according to a report from Nick Cafardo.