Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Athletics – 03/23/14

Spring Training Game Twenty-Seven: Cubs (11-14) vs. Athletics (ss) (12-9)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN-TV – Radio: Cubs.com
  • Location – Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix

Jason Hammel (1-0, 4.50, 1.75) vs. Jesse Chavez (4-0, 1.04, 1.04)

On the last Sunday in the Cactus League, the Cubs will play their final spring game ever at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The A’s are moving out of Phoenix and into a renovated HoHoKam Park and Fitch Park next spring. So the next time the Cubs take on the Athletics in a Spring Training game it will be at a new-look HoHoKam Stadium.

The Cubs no. 3 starter takes the hill today in his next to last start of the spring in the Cactus League. The Cubs will stretch out Jason Hammel to around six innings this afternoon then back him down a little in his last Spring Training start in five days.

Mike Olt will be at third base for the second day in a row. Olt had only one ball hit his way on Saturday and in two games he’s had three balls hit his direction. Olt has yet to make a throw from third.

Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies have the call this afternoon on WGN-TV and Mick Gillispie will call the action on the ‘radio side’ on Cubs.com.

This afternoon all starts with Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel makes his third Cactus League start this afternoon. Hammel is coming off, what he called a disappointing outing against the Rangers. Hammel admitted he cannot walk batters and must execute his pitches. Hammel wiggled his way out of jams early in last Tuesday’s game and the Rangers finally caught up to him of the last two innings of his start. Hammel went five innings in Surprise and allowed four runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts (78 pitches, 45 for strikes). In two Cactus League starts, Hammel has allowed four runs on nine hits with five walks and six strikeouts in eight innings.

Rick Renteria is expected to run out the following lineup this afternoon:

  • Emilio Bonifacio – CF
  • Junior Lake – LF
  • Luis Valbuena – 2B
  • Mike Olt – 3B
  • Ryan Kalish – RF
  • Ryan Roberts – 1B
  • George Kottaras – C
  • Darwin Barney – SS
  • Chris Coghlan – DH

Injuries and a good performance this spring have forced Jesse Chavez into a starting spot for the Athletics. Chavez spent the majority of his career in the Pirates’ organization where the general thought was he did not pitch to his potential. After stops in Kansas City (2011) and Toronto (2012), Chavez caught on with the A’s last season and posted a 2-4 record in 35 games with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.

The veteran right-hander has been lights out this spring. Chavez has allowed two runs on 14 hits with four walks and 14 strikeouts in five games, three starts, in the Cactus League. And both of the runs came via two home runs in 17 1/3 innings.

While the Cubs are taking on the A’s in Phoenix this afternoon, the other half of Oakland’s roster, with Josh Lindblom on the hill, will face the Mariners in Peoria.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Roberts at 1B? Can’t give Rizzo more at-bats? Rizzo is having a solid ST…keep his momentum and confidence going with some more at-bats leading into the season.

    Who is our backup 1B this year, anyway?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Still to be determined. Olt, Coghlan, Roberts would be options. Castillo can also play first base.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup in case you missed it above

    Bonifacio CF
    Lake LF
    Valbuena 2B
    Olt 3B
    Kalish RF
    Roberts 1B
    Kottaras C
    Barney SS
    Coghlan DH

    Hammel P

    • Ripsnorter1

      We have our DH batting last….that ought to tell you something. Coghlan has really stunk up the joint in ST.

      Meanwhile Valbuena is batting #3. Got their best hitter batting #3.

      • cubtex

        It wouldn’t shock me if Coghlan made the team. He can back up 1st base,outfield and is a left hand bat who doesn’t have to play everyday.

        • Tony_H

          I don’t see Coghlan making the team.

          • cubtex

            we shall see. Depends if Sweeney and Schierholtz start with Lake.

          • Tony_H

            I think it would have more to do with if they want Kalish and Olt in the minors playing everyday than that. But I would still think Roberts would be before Coghlan.

          • cubtex

            Remember, Kalish did not play at all last year. I think they would want him to get consistent at bats and not play once every 3 or 4 days or so. Coghlan is used to playing the utility role. It is not who is the better player but who fits the roster better.

          • Tony_H

            I get that but Roberts or even McDonald if they wanted just an OF, I believe would be ahead of Coghaln.

          • cubtex

            see above. LH bat makes more sense to pinch hit

          • Tony_H

            I can see a bench that has Sweeney, Valbuena, Bonifacio, and Kottaras on it.

          • cubtex

            possible. depends how aggressive they want to be with Kalish. If Kalish makes the roster I believe it would be as a starter. Can’t see how they would have him be a 4th or 5th after being out all last year.

          • Tony_H

            Except that he may need to have a few more days off than someone who has been playing last year.

            I still see this right now with Olt and Kalish.

            C – Castillo Kottaras
            1B – Rizzo
            2B – Barney
            SS – Castro
            3B – Olt
            INF – Bonifacio Valbuena
            LF – Kalish
            CF – Lake
            RF – Schierholtz
            OF – Ruggiano Sweeney

          • Tony_H

            If they send Olt down, Murphy takes his spot and Valbuena platoons with him.

            If they send Kalish down, Roberts or McDonald takes his spot, unless they send both Olt and Kalish down, then I can see Coghlan getting the last spot, to make up for Valbuena starting more.

            Still a lot of moving parts and why these guys like Coghlan, Roberts, Mcdonald, etc are brought in, to have available the flexibility to fill out the roster depending on the decisions on the young guys.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            So a depth chart 1B Rizzo/Olt 3B Olt/Valbuena

          • Tony_H

            Yes

            I see Bonifacio getting many starts.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Except that he cannot hit….

          • cubtex

            lol. I just posted his stats last year as a pinch hitter.

          • cubtex

            and Roberts will have a hard time getting playing time over Bonifacio. Look at the bench. They need a LH hitter. Kottaras will be the only LH hitter and he is catcher. On days if Sweeney,Schierholtz and Valbuena start.

          • Tony_H

            This all looks differently if they go with Olt at 3B. You are assuming they are not.

          • cubtex

            true because that would put Valbuena on bench.

      • cubtex

        god help us if Valbuena is the best hitter in any mlb lineup :)))

        • Tony_H

          3 HR’s in last few days…might be our starting power hitting 3B of the future :)

          • BosephHeyden

            Well, at least he’s hitting them early, unlike our last third base power hitter.

  • Patrick_Schaefer
  • DWalker

    So scherzer turned down an extension with the Tigers. He’ll be thirty this year at the end of the season. let the speculation start!
    Age may be a concern with him and Masterson since both will want long term contracts, but this could make things really interesting this winter. my guess, we get neither and sign some unknown in the state guy from japan or cuba.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Pass. I don’t need the dead money a 34-35-36 yr old Scherzer will bring.

      Like Theo says…a P hits his Prime at 27. So getting someone from years 25-30 is more ideal.

      Wait…so why are we trying to sign Shark, then?

      • Tony_H

        Because he has a lot less mileage on his arm than pitchers his age, due to playing football.

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          true…no one ever got wear and tear from playing college football.

          • Tony_H

            Not on his throwing arm. C’mon man!

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            I do not have access to his medical history from college…guessing you don’t either. Pretty sure tight ends hurt their shoulders, hips, legs…sometimes they even break fingers.

            Bottom-line: I can’t think of a Cub player that has been more over-valued than Shark, based on what that player has actually achieved.

            Not talking about prospect hype. He has been in 189 games (remember, he is a pitcher…so that is no small number) and he will be 30 going into the regular season next year.

            Fukudome comes to mind…he was an adequate mlb OF, but he was paid like a star, so the Shark comparison is fair there. Geovany Soto? 1-2 good years max out of him…but he was never really over-paid, but I think we could have done better at C.

            Yep…Shark is the worst.

          • Tony_H

            He was a WR, not a TE. Either way, if he had medical issues from football he would never have made it this far. But I am sure he could have lingering aches and pains.

            His number of outing is from relieving. 66 starts and 123 relief appearnces. He only has 558 major league innings on his arm or about 3 years of starting. The mileage is really low for a 29 year old pitcher.

            I agree with you, it is all based on potential. He is a 3/4 SP at best with his stats. But we have all seen the games and streaks where he has looked like a 1/2 and that is why the Cubs would like to extend him and why so many teams want to trade for him.

            If someone comes close to their asking price, I hope they take it, as it would be a great return.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            I really really hope they take it too.

            I don’t want the 5th most profitable team in baseball telling their fans they couldn’t get “x” FA star pitcher in 2015 and/or 2016, because their payroll was too high thanks in part to Shark’s contract.

          • Tony_H

            Jason the list by Forbes list is before EBITDA.

            “Forbes also estimates the Cubs had an operating income of $32.1 million last year, making them the most profitable team in baseball. Operating income was based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.”

            http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-03-28/sports/chi-chicago-cubs-forbes-value-20130327_1_valuable-franchise-toyota-sign-media-rights

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            just proves my point…they always had ability to be competitive via FA without trading away prospects…they just chose not to. Yet the savings don’t get passed along to the cost of my beer or hot dog or ticket at Wrigley.

            So only purpose of last three years of tanking is draft choice order.

            I still believe they could have bought more expensive FA’s, ($12-15m/yr type of players) and then flipped those at the break for prospects.

            Not only that, but they could knock off $5m/yr off contracts and lure away the very top-tier prospects. This is the same as buying yourself a high draft-pick. How much would you have paid for a Bryant-level prospect on the open market? Using Soler as an example, we can easily say it is worth $5m/year.

            Meanwhile, your ticket sales are strong, as you never tanked the season.

          • Tony_H

            No, it actually doesn’t. Cubs have one of the highest, if not they highest spread from EBITDA to real earnings, partly due to the interest payments they have to make on the debt that was required by Zell.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            Oh…so they couldn’t really afford Tanaka then. That darn Zell!

          • Tony_H

            Yes they could and have said that they didn’t spend all of their money this off-season because of that.

          • GaryLeeT

            Tony, the player payroll checks didn’t bounce when it was 145, and 134 million, in 2010, and 11. They Cubs could have a much higher payroll, but are choosing not to. I never thought you were right about why payroll was so low, I just stopped debating the point.

          • Tony_H

            Maybe they borrowed money to cover those years or wrote checks to cover it. We don’t really know. The payroll is so low, because of the young players and the stop gap buy low/sell high players they have been adding.

          • cubtex

            hahahaha

  • cubtex

    Talking about the last roster spot for the Cubs. Chris Coghlan last year as a pinch hitter. .318 average with a .348 OBP. That could push that last spot in his favor.

    • Tony_H

      And then the rest of the story…..

      22 AB’s

      Full season = 256/318/354/672

      • cubtex

        exactly but it is the last spot Tony. He is not going to play much. Who can pinch hit.

      • cubtex

        that is not something many players can do. Get one at bat every 5 days or so and produce. not an easy role

        • Tony_H

          Well at least he has experience….22 AB’s and all.

          • Tony_H

            48 Pinch hit AB’s in his career.

            Rusty Staub here we come!

          • cubtex

            relax dude. it is how you look to fill out a roster. If Sweeney doesn’t start he can do that too. He hit .333 in 25 pinch hits last year as well. Why do you always act like this is a contest or something. Just giving some stats on who could get the last spot!

          • Ripsnorter1

            What really qualifies him for the last spot on the roster:

            he’s good at whittling.

          • Tony_H

            I’m pretty relaxed right now. I just think it is funny how you will take a 22 AB’s to say that makes him a good pinch hitter, yet if anyone else gave you can example of 100 AB’s you would discredit it as way, way too small of a sample size.

          • cubtex

            I looked to see how he did in that role last year with the Marlins. Is it a small sample size? Of course but 22 pinch hits is 22 pinch hits and to produce over .300 no matter how many ab’s is good. It is funny like you are making it this contest. Will Coghlan make it? Probably not but just checking to see what could determine the spot.

          • Tony_H

            I never saw the entry form for the contest, must have missed that.

            He will make it if they feel they need a LH bat for the bench after making the real decisions.

          • cubtex

            well thank you for finally saying what I have been saying all afternoon. Who fits the roster better. Finally!

          • Tony_H

            I have said that many times before.

            But realize I said IF they feel they need a LH bat, as they have quite a few right now.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Big news. Carlos Pena is available.Just released by the Angels. It’s all over but the singing now.

  • cubtex

    Hammel not fooling anybody.

    • Ripsnorter1

      He’s this year’s Edwin Jackson signing for Team Theo. You know, the one they apologized for last year….

  • Ripsnorter1

    Why did they sign Hammels to begin with? Were we short on #7 starters?

    • Tony_H

      Many were complaining about Feldman last year even into his first few starts. Well some never stopped complaining.

      • cubtex

        Tony on a roll today!

        • Tony_H

          I don’t remember were you complaining about Feldman last year?

          • cubtex

            Feldman exceeded my expectations. I don’t think Hammel will.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Houston fans will not be so lucky.

          • Tony_H

            Opening Day STARTER!!

          • Ripsnorter1

            If this were Russia, the GM would be taken out and shot for that!

            LOL

      • Ripsnorter1

        You know I read that the Oriole fans haven’t stopped complaining about his acquistion from the Cubs last year. Not that they miss Arietta or even Strop. But to think they had a shot at the playoffs and management came up with only Feldman, well, fans are still complaining about it.

        And now Houston fans are smoking hot about his 5.73 ERA in ST, and a 3 year deal to boot.

        • Tony_H

          Don’t even get the Rangers fans started!

          • TheWrongGuy

            The Rangers farm system has been rapped by the Cubs FO for 2 years running IMO.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Hammels dealt with forearm problems last year and in 2012 he had a productive year. Still don’t think much of him tthough

  • Tony_H

    I don’t like how Hammel has his left shoulder open from the stretch. He never seems to get it back closed and to me, is where I a lot of his wildness is at right now. From the wind up he does it as well, just not as obvious from the beginning.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Someone wake Bosio up and see if he can help Hammels.

      I heard Renteria just say that….

      • Tony_H

        Very possible. He flys off to the left on his follow through as well and not because of max effort. They need to get him to shift his body more closed then stay closed longer.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Farnsworth fastball off 3 MPH this ST, and he just got cut.

          I saw him and Carlos Pena in the soup line together.

          • Tony_H

            They can afford to fund a lot of soup lines.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    this is sloppy…

  • Tony_H

    I would like to see Rusin make the rotation and then when Arrieta comes back they demote whoever is pitching worse.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      they won’t demote Hammel…whole point is to flip him…FO not worrying about being competitive. If they were, they wouldn’t be fielding this mlb squad.

      • Tony_H

        He or whoever has to pitch well enough to be flipped.

        But I agree it is unlikely to happen.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        If that were the case they wouldn’t be signing guys like Ruggiano they think can help win. They’d run the BJax’s of the world out there.

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          ah Board…you make up for the absence of Aaron, I must say. Your smiling avatar limits the amount of snarky I must put in my reply.

          Let me just say: Ruggiano signing doesn’t = competitive.

          They are hoping to maximize trade chips. BJax is still, for all purposes, a rookie…and Ruggiano is a buy-low guy. They stock up on buy-low guys and rookies. Maybe they catch lightning in a bottle, but more likely they hope player performs adequately enough to be included as a trade chip to get back something they covet more.

          Same with Kalish, Sweeney, Schierholtz, Hammel…none of these are “core” guys going forward, and they won’t be here in 2 years.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I think Kalish could become a part of the core.

            Guys like Schierholtz are “buy low,” players. But they are free agents with upside, willing to sign short affordable contracts. It’s not the MO of the FO to sign guys like Corey Hart or Nelson Cruz that would be overpaid based on past performance. Te only guys I would have wanted would have been a Ellsbury. But even he would have been too expensive with as much risk as he would carry. I would have signed Tanaka but again, huge risk for huge contract.

            Guys like Schierholtz are inexpensive and don’t require a commitment. Plus they may play well and help the team win which is why they’re signed. Maybe he can be flipped for prospects but that is not why you sign a Schierholtz. You sign him because you think he will make your product in the field better, and last year he certainly did.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            Nate was a lefty Soriano, only not as productive. All his hits/HRs came in bunches, and the rest of the time he wasn’t getting on base to the tune of a .301 OBP, which is really bad.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    I miss watching pitchers I like. I think the last time was when Z was still good…Lilly and Dempster were ok.

    Before that, you have to go back to Prior, Wood, Maddux (2nd stint), and Clement. Marmol was very exciting/good for a while, too.

    I am getting tired of watching retreads. It is like how some people use DVRs to skip commercials…I would use it to skip our pitching. And to skip thru Barney’s at-bats, Sweeney/Schierholz at-bats, and the P’s at-bats.

    Can’t wait for DH to hit the NL.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Coughlan is DHing today. You’d have to fast forward past his ABs as well.

      LOL

      Sometimes it is just easier to switch channels.

      • cubtex

        then you would have missed their only hit so far

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          I would like them to have Minor league rules for some of these ST games…so you can have the same 3-4 guys hit every inning. I would take Olt, Rizzo, Lake, and Castro at-bats…that I would watch.

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        I’d like to see Vogelbach as our DH someday if they go to that.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Barney beats out the fielder’s choice…yeah!
    To quote the southside announcer, Barney has a bit of “TWTW”…the will to win. Basically something pointless you say when a guy’s stats are utterly underwhelming.

  • cubtex

    Kentucky vs Wichita State in a tight one. Stanford with a big W over Kansas earlier. Great games today

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Tat turned out as a bummer. Kentucky who represents all that is wrong with collee basketball beating Wichita State who is full of seniors who earned their stripes and okay as a team. Kentucky’s guys want to impress scouts and are already worried about NBA contracts. The better team may have won but it doesn’t seem to equal karmic equilibrium.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs released Wada

    • Tony_H

      Not surprised, he had nothing on the ball.

    • Tony_H

      That leaves 13 healthy pitchers as Fujikawa, Arrieta and McDonald should start the year on the DL.

      1. Samardzija
      2. Wood
      3. Jackson
      4. Hammel
      5. Rusin
      6. Villanueva
      7. Veras
      8. Strop
      9 Russell
      10 Wright
      11 Grimm
      12 Cabrera
      13 Rondon

      If they go with 12 position players they will all make the team. If they go with the normal 13 then one gets cut. I think it is Rondon to the minors.

      • Tony_H

        Or Rusin if they go with Villanueva as the 5 and they want to keep Rusin starting.

  • Tony_H

    Nice play by the A’s catcher!

  • Tony_H

    Bonifacio looks good in CF.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      He was a good signing. May be a flip candidate and will help us win games.

  • Tony_H

    Hammel is so off balance on his landing. If someone hits a liner back at him, he has no chance to defend himself.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    With so may young players involved in ST I wish the Cubs would put names on the back of road jerseys.

  • Tony_H

    Not much fun to watch and it wasn’t pretty, but Hammel grinded his way through 4 2/3 innings and only gave up 2 runs….so far.

  • Tony_H

    Nice inning, capped off with a HR by Junior Lake.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Junior with the 3 run ding dong!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Lake with a 3-run homer

  • Tony_H

    Valbuena showing 3 hole power again!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Back-to-back jacks for Lake and Valbuena

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Back to back Junior and Valbunea! Luis is hot, very hot. Make fun of him being ou “best hitter,” but the guy would be the best hitter in a lot of teams right now.

    • Tony_H

      Just a friendly reminder to check the setting on the kool-aide :)

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Right now e would be! He’s hitting the cover off the ball the past week.

        • Tony_H

          Days yes, weeks no.

        • Tony_H

          Before the last 3 games when he has impersonated Babe Ruth his average was at 231 for the spring.

          Even now it is only up to 281.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        geez Tony…way to buzzkill.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv5fYWy3H9Q

  • Tony_H

    And still nobody out in the 6th.

    Barney Single
    Coghlan Double
    Bonifacio bloop single
    Lake – 3 run HR
    Valbuena HR

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Ray was right, Olt either gets a early hit or gets down 0-2 pretty quick. Ah, the trials of a rookie.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    So glad Lake hit that home run hopefully that gives him some confidence going into the season.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      ack! was on an errand…of course I missed it. But happy for my guy JLake!

  • cubtex

    Would still like to see how Cabrera would do as a starter. He’s got 3 plus pitches.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      When Cabrera throws strikes he is fine. He has not thrown strikes above the Double-A level. Tom and I have been consistent on that.

      • cubtex

        His delivery looks great this spring. Very simple mechanics

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Bosio has been working with him and there is a difference. He is repeating his delivery and release point which has led to better results.

          • cubtex

            It shows

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Lake with his second HR of the game … and he crushed that one.

    • GaryLeeT

      Somebody is pissed that their name is not being mentioned as part of “the core”.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        Agreed! And a guy that made position changes on the fly, and seemed to be “rushed” up unlike all the other prospects that we are admonished for wanting up too early.

        I think they rushed him up because their long-term OF view is Almora-Soler-Bryant. So they roll the dice and see if he can produce and make the future OF decisions harder. If Lake plays well, it is a good problem to have, and someone becomes enticing trade bait, likely for a good P.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Olt just crushed that baseball … no 5 on the spring.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      argh…I turned game off too soon. I curse you Hammel!!!

    • cubtex

      He is hitting the lefties.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        At least he’s hitting. Man Ray that is so just pointing out the negative.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          He is a rookie, that’s what most rookies do. He shows a ton of promise.

        • cubtex

          what’s up Rider? I said he is hitting the lefties. He is. No glass half empty. Nothing about that he is not hitting the righties. Simply….He is hitting the lefties.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Glass is half full if you ask me…

  • Richard Hood

    For the people wondering where our Power is going to come from I think this game may be answering some of those questions.

    • RynoTiger

      yes it is…it’s Luis Valbuena..our version of Pedroia

  • Tony_H
    • RynoTiger

      I bet Theo could get the Rangers top pitching prospect for Barney. Just a little hypnosis again on the Rangers GM and the trade is done.

    • TheWrongGuy

      I would be surprised if the Rangers even talk to the Cubs Fo after last seasons trade when we rapped their farm system. Not to mention Garza is now on another team. The Rangers FO is looking bad in their trades the last couple of years with the Cubs FO rapping their farm system. They also have enough replacements.

  • Tony_H

    Missed Olt’s errors, sounds like one was a wild throw in which replay would have save him an error and another a botched back hand, rusty for sure.

    And sounds like he hit one long gone.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      All correct …

  • Tony_H

    3rd HR of the day for Junior Lake! Deep to center.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Lake with his third dinger of the day

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      my guy!!

  • Tony_H

    Now Valbuena with his 2nd of the day!

    • Tony_H

      That is his 5th HR in 3 games.

      How about Olt at 3B and Valbuena/Barney platoon at 2B?

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        I prefer the platoon of Valbuena/Valbuena over Valbuena/Barney.

        • Tony_H

          Barney is actually decent against LH’s and Valbuena is not. I think Barney (and Schierholtz) get traded soon, maybe even before the season starts.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Valbuena goes yard … second time back-to-back with Lake

  • Sonate

    Lake and Valbuena going back-to-back 2X in one game! How many times do we think this will occur in the regular season? I say zero.

    • cubtex

      well you have to figure how many times they will hit back to back in a regular season game. That might be a pretty low number

      • Sonate

        Good point. It might be less than zero!!! :)

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Glass half empty?

      • cubtex

        Give it a rest.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          That’s poop telling vomit that it stinks if I’ve ever heard it.

      • Sonate

        Touche`. I was just injecting a bit of humor (which fell flat!).

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Is that 3 on the day for Lake?

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Cubs lead MLB in HR in spring! This comment is a softball for people to comment on how much we won’t see that in the regular season.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      you won’t see that in the regular season.

      thank you.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      well…I think Olt and Lake and Rizzo will hit a few, if they all play everyday.

      The Baez and Bryant HRs won’t be seen again until Sept maybe.

      Valbuena is the 2014 version of Mark Bellhorn…don’t get too excited…he is a short-term stopgap at best.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I’m excited until he cools downs. No reason to not enjoy some excitement eh?

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Don’t think we will see Baez in June?

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          I am not a service clock expert…but if there is an advantage from service time perspective to not bringing Baez up until September, then I don’t think we will see him earlier.

          Goes to my point of whether the FO really wants/needs to compete this year.

          Plus…primacy/recency is a psyc principle…basically we remember the beginning and end, and not so much the crap in the middle. So if the fans are really upset with the hallowed-out club after the expected June/July sell-off, the FO knows it only has to put earplugs in for July/Aug, and then when the fans see the wonderful prospects arriving in Sept (I hope!!) they will have completely forgotten how crappy July/August was on the field.

          If service time is not affected, then I would expect Baez, Alcantara, Villanueva, and others to start coming up earlier, depending on positional need after the sell-off.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            If he’s raking at AAA I don’t think it would hurt his clock to ring him up in June, but in not certain.

            I am certain that the FO could care less what the fans think, at any part during the season. When they deviate from their beliefs we end up with deals like EJax.

          • Tony_H

            Service time for Super 2 status would only make them keep him (or anyone) in the minors until sometime in June.

    • Tony_H

      The Cubs were actually 9th in MLB last year in HR’s and 2nd in the NL.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Lake looks like the real deal. Nice when prospects outdo their projections. He’s hit righties too and come back in 2 strike counts.

    • cubtex

      glass half empty? why you got to bring up he got 2 strikes on him? Hahaha

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Gotta give credit where it’s dues. You’ve got me paying more attention to hits with 2 strikes and lefty/righty splits :).

        • cubtex

          You should be happy after a game like this not baiting people to fight. I simply said Olt is hitting the lefties and then you start going off. He is hitting over .400 against lefties.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Go off? Was just pointing out the obvious. There is stuff to be excited about today and no reason to point out the flaws when there are plenty of successes. Awfully defensive there Ray. I get defensive sometimes and I hate when I’m made so. But it’s usually because somebody pointed out some truth to me.

          • cubtex

            I apologize if you took it the wrong way. I can 100% tell you that by me saying Olt is hitting the lefties had no hidden meaning whatsoever. It is a fact.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            It is a fact. It’s jut that thee are a lot of good things Olt and others are doing but you only being up the negative. I don’t get it. Theres a lot to be excited about right now. But you never post anything positive. Thats why I say glass is half full.

          • cubtex

            this is silly. How is saying he is hitting lefties negative???? Enjoy the evening. Great basketball games today. My son’s school is still alive.The only reason I responded to your comment was that you made 3 count em 3 responses to my reply to Neil on how Olt is hitting lefties and how negative that was. You don’t have to respond anymore but look at my post to Neil again and ask yourself…..was that a negative post???? It was a compliment.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Athletics 10-6 on Sunday afternoon … Jason Hammel: 2R, 8H, 3BB, 2K in 4.2 IP

    Lake: 3-5, 3 HR, 6RBI; Valbuena: 2-5, 2 HR;
    Olt: 1-4, HR; Coghlan: 2-4, 2B, RBI, R

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Guess who is leading the MLB i hits this spring? Shocker…Miguel Cabrera.

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