Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 03/24/14

Spring Training Game Twenty-Eight: Cubs (12-15) vs. Padres (8-12)

  • Game Time – 9:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: None – Radio: 720 WGN
  • Location – Cubs Park, Mesa

Carlos Villanueva (1-0, 6.17, 1.29) vs. Eric Stults (1-1, 7.15, 1.68)

With only five games left before the team breaks camp on Thursday, the Cubs play the first night game of the spring at Cubs Park.

The Cubs have seven games remaining on the exhibition schedule counting the two practice games at Chase Field on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. And two of the final seven games are against the Padres. The Cubs and Padres have not faced one another yet this spring and will square off the next two nights. The final split squad day of the spring is Tuesday with the Cubs making the trip to Peoria for a night game with the Friars following an afternoon contest with the Angels.

Carlos Villanueva is vying for the fifth spot in the rotation and will try to help his case tonight.

In other newsStarlin Castro is getting closer to playing in a Cactus League game. According to multiple reports, Castro felt fine Sunday following the six at bats he received in a minor league game on Saturday. Castro played in a minor league game Monday afternoon at Cubs Park. Castro played in the field and ran the bases. Castro went 1-for-5 with a RBI single. According to Mark Gonzales, Castro will not play in a minor league game on Tuesday. Castro will work on his defensive and take BP on Tuesday instead. Castro is scheduled to resume his rehab on Wednesday in another minor league game. The Cubs have not set a date on when Castro might participate in a Cactus League game. A day after hitting three home runs, Junior Lake participated in the same minor league game as Castro to get in extra work at the plate. Kyuji Fujikawa threw a 45-pitch bullpen session on Sunday and is getting close to throwing live batting practice. The Cubs should place Fujikawa on the 60-day DL in the near future to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

Tonight it all starts with Carlos Villanueva

Carlos Villanueva makes his second straight spring start tonight after appearing out of the pen in his first three Cactus League appearances. Villanueva is coming off a decent outing last week in Scottsdale, one in which he pitched better than his final line indicates. Villanueva made one mistake in his four innings of work and Carlos Gonzalez deposited it beyond the right field wall for a three-run home run. Villanueva allowed three runs on three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk in four innings. For the spring, Villanueva has allowed eight runs on 12 hits with three walks and 15 strikeouts in four games, one start (11 2/3 innings).

Rick Renteria posted his Monday night lineup prior to Sunday’s game against the Athletics:

  1. Emilio Bonifacio – 2B
  2. Donnie Murphy – SS
  3. Anthony Rizzo – 1B
  4. Justin Ruggiano – LF
  5. Nate Schierholtz – RF
  6. Welington Castillo – C
  7. Ryan Sweeney – CF
  8. Ryan Roberts – 3B
  9. Carlos Villanueva – P

Chris Coghlan, Ryan Kalish, John Baker, Darnell McDonald and Mike Olt are expected to be available for tonight’s game. Jonathan Sanchez, Justin Grimm, Brian Schlitter, Neil Ramirez and Jose Veras are scheduled to be in the Cubs’ pen.

Eric Stults is making his fifth start of the spring tonight. Stults has struggled this spring in his first four outings but with the recent injury to Josh Johnson he should be the Padres’ fourth starter when the season begins. Stults has allowed nine runs on 14 hits with five walks and five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

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Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne