Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 03/26/14

Spring Training Game Thirty-One: Cubs (12-17-1) vs. Diamondbacks (11-9)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Cubs.com
  • Location – Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale

Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 5.50, 1.72) vs. Brandon McCarthy (1-0, 1.93, 1.07)

The Cubs have four practice games left on the spring schedule and three of them are against the Diamondbacks. The Cubs play the D-Backs this afternoon in Scottsdale, then after hosting the White Sox for the final game of the spring at Cubs Park, the Cubs wrap up the spring with two games at Chase Field.

The Diamondbacks return to Cactus League action this afternoon after spending the last week in Australia. Arizona lost the first two games of the regular season to the Dodgers and is already looking up at Los Angeles in the standings.

Jeff Samardzija makes his final appearance of the spring this afternoon. Samardzija is expected to throw between 50-60 pitches today. Chris Rusin is scheduled to follow Samardzija to the hill. While Samardzija is already scheduled to start Opening Day in Pittsburgh on Monday, Rusin is not sure if he will begin the season with the Cubs or with the I-Cubs.

This afternoon all begins with Jeff Samardzija …

Jeff Samardzija last pitched on March 20 against the Mariners and put together his best outing of the spring. The Cubs gave Samardzija an extra day of rest before his last Cactus League start. Samardzija was not able to complete six innings against Seattle due to his high pitch count. Samardzija allowed two runs on six hits with eight strikeouts, two walks and two wild pitches in 5 1/3 innings.

This afternoon is Samardzija’s sixth Cactus League start. Samardzija allowed 11 runs on 24 hits with seven walks and 17 strikeouts in his first five starts (18 innings).

Chris Rusin faced the White Sox last Friday and shut down the Southsiders for five innings. Rusin gave up only two hits and has not allowed a run or a walk over his last three appearances in the Cactus League (12 innings). For the spring, Rusin is 3-2 in five games, three starts, with a 3.78 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP. In 16 2/3 innings, Rusin has given up seven runs on 11 hits with three walks and eight strikeouts (16 2/3 innings).

Brandon McCarthy is making his fourth Cactus League start this afternoon. McCarthy has pitched well this spring. In three starts (14 innings), McCarthy has allowed three runs on 13 hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Lake CF
    Coghlan LF
    Schierholtz RF
    Olt 3B
    Castillo C
    Baez SS
    Roberts 2B
    Anderson 1B
    Samardzija P

    Ruggiano was a late scratch again with left ankle soreness

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

    Hopefully Shark goes out and puts up a donut and makes someone pony up for him.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      pretty sure we missed our window…should have taken what we could get last deadline or this Winter. I have a bad feeling we are going to see a mediocre Shark all year, and therefore get a mediocre trade haul for him late this Summer.

      • Tony_H

        You never think Samardzija will pitch well, this is nothing new.

        This will be his 3rd year starting full time and the 3rd year is usually when you see improvement.

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

          This is one area where I think blind faith in Theo is warranted. His success with getting value out of trades is consistent. He’ll pull value out of Shark, will it be maximized? Maybe not totally, but it will be good and it may still be great.

          You can fault things about Theo if you want but his track record in getting value from trades is solid.

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          seriously? Next year you will be saying “year 4 is when we see people really shine, just look at (blank example pitcher) or (blank example pitcher).”

          Then in 2023, you will be bringing up Bartolo Colon as an example of how a player like Shark can have a career resurgence as they push 40.

          Trade him for a bag of balls and be happy he is not taking up a rotation spot, because when our actual good prospects are all up here, we don’t want to endure the frustration of 4 bad Shark starts to every 1 in which he teases us with TOR stuff.

          • Tony_H

            Seriously? a bag of balls.

            You are very out of touch on this subject.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            Shark is the worst ODS in mlb…bar none. This whole Shark show the past two years has been a PR shell game…propping up Shark to net a prospect haul. I actually respect that, but I feel Thoyer overplayed their hand…should have sold high, and all Shark will do at this point is lower his value, as I have zero confidence he will ever be consistently good. I hope he proves me wrong or Thoyer proves me wrong with a great trade haul. Until then I will just cringe when he is on the mound, waiting for his weak mental makeup to unfold during a typical 2-1 lead.

          • Tony_H

            Scott Feldman

            But what does it matter when he starts. His value is his value and many teams in baseball are scouting him.

        • cubtex

          Year 3 for a starting pitcher is usually when you see improvement? Never heard that one. Fantasy baseball article?

          • Tony_H

            Year 3 of any player you see improvement.

            Rookie year – All is new and the season is longer.

            Season 2 – Many times is set back…sophmore slump

            Season 3 – Many players after a sophmore slump, work harder in the off-season and put together their best year to date and many times are the level they will perform moving forward.

            Surely you have heard of these type of things before.

            It is not an EVERY player thing or ALWAYS the way it works. Elite players usually are there well before Year 3.

            Not sure if that is enough disclaimers or not.

          • cubtex

            trying to think of most of the TOR starters and I don’t recall it taking 3 years. Strassburg, Mark Prior with the Cubs, David Price, Kershaw, Baumgardner.

          • Tony_H

            Once again, nothing is 100% all the time or 0%.

          • cubtex

            I think for position players that is more accurate but not pitchers so much

          • Tony_H

            You are right, most pitchers don’t need time to adjust to 32 starts and 200 innings every year, that is why rotations are filled with guys who hit those marks every year.

          • cubtex

            you said improvement. Stuff is stuff. Jose Fernandez comes up immediately and dominated.Matt Harvey. Command issues will usually be with pitchers. The Gio Gonzalez and Samardjija types usually don’t all of a sudden figure it out in year 3.

          • Tony_H

            The elite guys like Fernandez and Harvey are the exceptions, not the rule.

            Many pitcher do take time and year 3 is a year to look at in pitchers and hitters for improvement.

          • cubtex

            another thing we don’t agree on. go figure. Hitters I would not argue with but not pitchers.

          • Tony_H

            Gio Gonzalez

            2008 – 7 starts
            2009 – 17 starts
            2010 – 33 starts
            2011 – 32 starts
            2012 – 32 starts

            Now it is hard to say which was his 3rd full season as he had 2 partials, but it was 2012 that he went form being a 1.31 WHIP pitcher to a 1.12 WHIP pitcher and lowered his ERA from 3.23 and 3.12 to 2.89.

            You can find examples of guys that didn’t have this but I think if you look at a large sample size of ptichers, you will see that the 3rd full season (give or take a little as not all players develop the same) is when most pitchers show an improvement to what they are going to be as a player. Just like some go south and never hit the levels they did in their first years.

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

            All those pitchers mentioned never made the transition from reliever to starter like Shark has. Unique factor which I think gives more credence to the “3 year,” theory in this case. Guess either way we will know soon.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Starlin Castro…year 3.

          • Tony_H

            Year 3 wasn’t all that bad, it was year 4 that was bad.

            Plus he was 23 years old, that changes things.

          • cc002600

            what about guys like Wainwright, Scherzer, A. Sanchez, Hamels, Lester, Cliff Lee, Sabathia ? I don’t recall them being studs when they first came up.

            For guys with regular stuff, it will take them years to learn how to pitch.

          • cubtex

            Wainwright is a perfect example to compare to Shark. He was a closer and moved to the rotation. Go compare the 2. I think you need to check the stats of those guys you mentioned. Had some pretty good success in year 2

          • John_CC

            Scherzer’s first three full seasons as a starter he compiled a 4.00 ERA and 1.3 WHIP.

          • cubtex

            yea. he is one guy who took a while but look below

          • John_CC

            Just pointing out that every pitcher that struggles a little in his first three years shouldn’t be written off. :)

            You are always so argumentative.

          • cubtex

            that’s what I do :)) I am not disagreeing with some of that. I don’t agree with the premise that it is a common fact.

          • Tony_H

            NO ONE SAID IT WAS EVERY PITCHER!!!

            But is a general idea that if you look over large sample size of players you will see that many of them have a marked improvement in their numbers.

            SOME GO DOWN!
            SOME HAPPEN SOONER!
            SOME HAPPEN LATER!

            You are arguing just to argue.

          • cubtex

            OK TONY!!!

            Don’t tell Theo that is the case because CJ Edwards won’t help for another 5 years. Pierce Johnson for another 4 and Kyle Hendricks…well he is probably a #5 so he might take 6 years.

          • Tony_H

            YOU’RE so impossible to have a conversation with anymore!

            THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS MEANS!!!!

          • cubtex

            it’s “You’re” Don’t worry. I will be pretty busy for the next month or so….so you can relax more :)))

          • Tony_H

            So sorry for the grammatical error. Happens when you type fast and don’t proof read.

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

            You’re not bailing on us the first month of the season are you buddy?

          • cubtex

            my point is that it does not usually take 3 years for a starting pitcher to establish himself.

          • cubtex

            just for kicks I checked a couple of those guys.

            Anibal Sanchez in his 1st year with Marlins.

            10-3 with a 2.83 ERA

            Cole Hammels 2nd full year starting
            15-5 3.39 ERA

            Cliff Lee 2nd full year starting

            18-5 with a sparkiling 2.83 ERA

          • John_CC

            You are cherry picking single seasons. I thought you two were talking about the first 3 seasons of a pitcher. Cliff Lee is terrible example, he was up and down and looked done when he got shelled to the tune of a 6.2 ERA 1.5 WHIP when he was 29. Sounds a little like a pitcher on the Cubs that you’d like to kick to the curb.

          • cubtex

            no we are not cherry picking. the debate is that Tony is saying that year 3 for a starting pitcher is usually when they figure it out. He is saying that year 3 is when a lot of pitchers break out.

          • John_CC

            OK, whatever you say. I’m not going to argue.

          • cubtex

            not trying to get in one.

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

            Seems like Chris Carpenter was a guy that took a while to figure it out. The former Cardinal, not to be confused ;)

          • Richard Hood

            Injury had a lot to do with that. When he was in Toronto there was questions about his health then he had TJ and came back to be the pitcher everyone thought he could be.

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

            Reliever to starter transition may have an impact.

          • SuzyS

            or something like Dempster…starter….reliever…starter…then done.

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

            True Suzy…

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    No Barney? Getting traded? Hopefully but probably not.

    • Tony_H

      I think teams are still sorting through the list of players who were just cut, like the Rangers did, and you will see a few trades more over the weekend.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Olt with a RBI groundout, Castillo with a RBI single

  • Tony_H

    Not sure if this was posted or not.

    “Although Epstein wouldn’t spill the roster beans to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, he did tell Cafardo via text that, “[e]ither way he looks great. Brings a lot to the table and is on our long-term plans.”

    http://www.bleachernation.com/2014/03/26/ryan-kalish-gets-love-from-the-man-in-charge/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I re-tweeted Cafardo’s quote from Theo. I have not had a chance to put it in a report yet.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Samardzija out after three as scheduled. Rusin in for the fourth. Gave up a two-run homer to Mark Trumbo. Olt with another throw from third in the inning.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Olt with a RBI double into the left field corner off of McCarthy

  • Tony_H

    Rusin might have just booked his ticket to Iowa.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Rusin is getting rocked.

      • Tony_H

        I really don’t care if it is Rusin or Villanueva, but didn’t want to see him get hit like this………and another one out of the park.

        • Tony_H

          AND ANOTHER ONE!!

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Agreed.

          • Tony_H

            Was that back to back to back?

            My gameday isn’t keeping up with the game very well.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            No, there was an out in between. Jacobs’ HR went further than Baez’s went.

          • Tony_H

            Bad inning for sure to cap off a rough outing.

            It will be interesting to see the final cuts, but I still expect a trade this weekend.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Carrie muskat cubs.mlb.com writer in her blog suggested Sweeney could be the odd man out which didn’t make sense to me because didn’t he sign a 2 year contract?

          • Tony_H

            Yeah, maybe traded, but I just can’t see them cutting him. It is not a lot of money, but I think he is very capable 4th OF.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cabrera gives up another HR, that’s five for Arizona and it’s only the 7th inning

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

      Sharks final line?

      Glad Olt keeps on hitting. “Professional hitter, Mike Olt” :)?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Samardzija: 1R, 4H, 0BB, 2K, 3IP

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

          Thanks Niel. Sorry, I am trying to work on patience…:)

      • Richard Hood

        um no. He is probably not a .300 hitter. He might get there in a good year but he is more of the .260/360/450 type. That is not a Professional Hitter as the monicker normally goes to guys that fall out of bed and get 2 hits in 5 AB’s

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

          I know Richard. I was just kidding. He’s just been getting hits every game lately it seems. I know he’ll be more an RBI, slugging percentage and HR type. I do believe that eventually he can hit .300.

          • Richard Hood

            On a good year but I think his k-rate is way to high to be a .300 hitter consistently.

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

            Yeah not consistently. But a career year or something.

        • BillyFinT

          On a M.L level, that is darn good. If you meant 0.220 /0.320/ 0.400, then the player would be average.

          Clubs paid barely AAA players for a price of $ 7 million per year, now via free agency. As far as contract goes, Olt would be a buy if he performs at league average.

          • Richard Hood

            I was just talking about Olts likely performance and the term BoardRider used to describe him. I agree that Olt’s value could be sky high even if he does not reach his ceiling that I described earlier.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Coghlan with a HR to left center

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

      I think his bat could be a weapon as a pinch hitter. Mite a unique skill he seems to have.

      • BillyFinT

        Interesting. I wrote this in January: “Defensively really more suited as a corner outfielder, he doesn’t run or hit for power. He had good bat control. The Marlins threw him into centerfield too long, and I think that hurt him more than helped him, both physically and mentally.

        I don’t expect Hoyer & Co. repeat Florida’s mistake. If this organization can help Chris even find 80% of what he did in his award-winning year”…

        I agree that the Cubs are looking for some specific role that will maximize his use of skills, such as P.H., or batting second as a left fielder.

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

          Great insight! I think he is very worth investing some time and effort in. He’s a former ROY not far removed. Obviously something is there. He will PH for now but if he can get back close to where he was and Kalish continues to do what he’s doing we’ll have a couple of really good outfielders. Throw in Lake who may be better than either and suddenly this is a good team. Lots of what if’s but not outside the realm of possibility. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I expect a much improved team this season.

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

            Lots of “retreads,” go on to become successful. I’m sick of heaing people bash on the concept when there is so little to lose and so much to gain with some of these guys. Youthful “retreads” is hardly a bad investment of resources. Can really speed up te curve of success if a few own out. Theo had a proven eye for talent and as everyone knows I trust his judgment. He’s a scout at heart and he follows numbers not gut feelings and it’s made him successful. Telling me playing Coghlan or Kalish, te “retreads,” is a worse play than BJax? A never was? I just don’t see it.

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

            I think it boils back to a way to nitpick Theo for those that don’t like him and will never approve of moves he makes.

            And in not picking on any one person. Ive heard Ray give Theo some credit on things and even Rip occasionally.

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

            I’ll admit. Kalish is kind of a never was too. But the potential is there an he is looking pretty dang big league right now.

          • BillyFinT

            Yes, and I think this is already a good team. By itself without addition and barring major injuries, it’ll probably win 70-75 games. That’s not enough for the postseason, but a much bigger improvement over the last few seasons. Then the impact bat will arrive, and reliable pitching such as Edwards comes in a year, maybe this August. We’ll see more improvement, while the Cubs can keep winning in mind for this season.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 14-4 to D-Backs on Wednesday … Samardzija: 1R, 4H, 0BB, 2K, 3IP (50/34); Rusin: 9R, 10H (4HR), 0BB, 0K, 2.2IP

    Olt: 1-4, 2B, 2RBI; Coghlan: 2-4, HR, 2B, 2R; Schierholtz: 3-3, 2B, 2R; Castillo: 1-3, BB, RBI