Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 03/22/14

Spring Training Game Twenty-Six: Cubs (11-14) vs. Reds (11-13)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN-TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Internet Channel 846
  • Location – Cubs Park, Mesa

Edwin Jackson (1-2, 4.00, 1.22) vs. Tony Cingrani (1-1, 6.39, 1.42)

The Cubs return home this afternoon to take on division rivals the Cincinnati Reds. Counting Saturday, the Cubs have only four more spring games at beautiful Cubs Park.

The Cubs and Reds will not use a designated hitter in today’s game. Cubs’ pitchers should start hitting every day at this point with six of the last nine exhibition games left on the schedule against National League teams.

Rick Renteria posted Friday that Mike Olt would be starting this afternoon’s game at third base. And while Starlin Castro could play in a minor league game today, Castro is not expected back in the Cubs’ lineup until Monday or Tuesday.

The Reds are dealing with a lot of pitching issues. Aroldis Chapman had surgery Thursday and could reportedly start throwing again in 10-14 days. Chapman will obviously miss the start of the season after being hit in the face by a line drive on Wednesday night. Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton will begin the season on the DL and Mat Latos’ status for Opening Day has not been announced. Homer Bailey could also miss the beginning of the year after being slowed by a strained right groin earlier in the spring.

Today’s game can be seen on WGN TV with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies and can be heard on 7200 WGN with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer.

This afternoon it all begins with Edwin Jackson …

Edwin Jackson is coming off a spring win against the Angels. Jackson faced a split squad Angels’ team and put together his best outing in the Cactus League. Jackson tossed four innings of shutout ball while allowing three hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Jackson threw strikes and hit his spots. Jackson will face a tougher task this afternoon in the Reds than the team he faced five days ago.

In three Cactus League starts (nine innings), Jackson has allowed four runs on 10 hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts.

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

  1. Darwin Barney – 2B
  2. Justin Ruggiano – LF
  3. Anthony Rizzo – 1B
  4. Mike Olt – 3B
  5. Nate Schierholtz – RF
  6. Welington Castillo – C
  7. Ryan Sweeney – CF
  8. Donnie Murphy – SS
  9. Edwin Jackson – P

Tony Cingrani is making his fifth Cactus League start today. The very talented lefty has not fared too well this spring. Cingrani has allowed 11 runs, nine earned, on 12 hits with six walks and 13 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

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

    Other than Donnie Murphy at short this could be our opening day lineup. I hope Kalish is in instead of Sweeney.

    • Tony_H

      You mean Lake instead of Sweeney. Lake will be starting on Opening Day against Liriano.

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

        You’re right. Although I’d prefer Kalish play everyday. But that is the good thing about left handed hitters. They aren’t really platoon players. I have always considered righties platoon players. It’s tough to call a lefty a platoon player when they get the nod 4 out of 5 days.

        • Tony_H

          I expect no one to play 6 days a week in the OF, with Lake being being the closest.

          I think only Rizzo and Castro will play everday.

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

            I agree with that. I just hope Renteria is willing to adjust that and play guys more if they deserve it. I say this with regard to Kalish because I think he may end up our best player.

            I would have said it about Ruggiano too yesterday because I think he’ll have a great year. But now that I know he’s 32 I don’t see him as needing to play a ton. I thought he may work his way into the plans but that was when I thought he was 27.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Barney 2B
    Ruggiano LF
    Rizzo 1B
    Olt 3B
    Schierholtz RF
    Castillo C
    Sweeney CF
    Murphy SS
    Jackson P

    • Endy

      Opening day vs liriano:

      Bonafacio (cf)
      Lake (lf)
      Castro
      Olt
      Rizzo
      Ruggiano
      Castillo
      Barney

      Thoughts???

      • Tony_H

        I think you have the right 8 players but the lineup is tough to call.

      • Tony_H

        1 Bonifacio CF
        2 Castro SS
        3 Rizzo 1B
        4 Ruggiano RF
        5 Olt 3B
        6 Lake LF
        7 Castillo C
        8 Barney 2B

        • BosephHeyden

          That seems as good a lineup as any. Bonifacio isn’t the second coming of Kenny Lofton but he’s probably one of the Cubs’ best leadoff options in a few years. Rizzo has to play himself out of the third spot before I’d move him down, Lake needs to be near the bottom until he’s had a bit more playing time to establish his worth, and, while Olt is hammering the ball, Ruggiano’s been around longer, so worst case scenario those two play themselves into a spot swap.

        • BosephHeyden

          That seems as good a lineup as any. Bonifacio isn’t the second coming of Kenny Lofton but he’s probably one of the Cubs’ best leadoff options in a few years. Rizzo has to play himself out of the third spot before I’d move him down, Lake needs to be near the bottom until he’s had a bit more playing time to establish his worth, and, while Olt is hammering the ball, Ruggiano’s been around longer, so worst case scenario those two play themselves into a spot swap.

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Reds up 3-0 in the first after a single, walk and HR off of Edwin Jackson

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Very good at bat by Rizzo, single through the shift on a 1-2 pitch.

    • BigJonLilJon

      I know Rizzo doesn’t have a lot of speed but I’d like to see him drop a bunt down the 3B line against those shifts

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Ron Coomer said Rizzo was working on that today so when he is leading off innings there is an option for him to bunt.

        • BigJonLilJon

          Good news. Just needs to force opposing teams out of that shift

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Agreed

  • Tony_H

    I thought is was odd not to have a Tyler Beede update……now I know why.

    2 2/3 IP
    6 Hits
    5 Walks
    11 Runs – 5 Earned

    Crushed 17-2

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Tony, I tweeted it and failed to post it in the update. I forgot, my bad.

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  • Tony_H

    Good quality AB’s by Rizzo off of a LH again today!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      You beat me to it. That was another excellent at bat. I remember how bad Cingrani made him look last year.

      • Tony_H

        Sorry about that, but it definitely is a nice thing to see. Hopefully it continues.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          No worries, please beat to posts as often as you would like. We are on the same page with him.

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

            He made adjustments last year and has shown he’s a hard worker who cares about his craft. I think an improvement against lefties should be expected.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Jackson needed that 4-6-3 double play.

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

    Ruggiano is a pretty big boy. I was expecting a little scrappy guy but he looks more like a first baseman.

  • Tony_H

    That was a pretty poor effort by the Reds RF.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      But another good at bat from Rizzo. Turned on that inside pitch.

      • Tony_H

        Yes it was. The replay of that Ruggiano fly ball was even funnier the 2nd time.

  • Tony_H

    Wow! Another solid AB for Rizzo against a LH pitcher with RISP.

    RBI Single

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

      Rizzo is a pro. No reason to not have expected this unless you were a fatalist.

      • Tony_H

        I am a big believer in 3rd season is the season you make your move to the player you are going to be (unless you are really young). But your rookie year, everything is new, the second year usually have some struggles as opposing teams figure you out, then the 3rd year is when the guys know what is going on and show whether they can make the adjustments necessary to have a long major league career.

        • bpot92

          Are you saying it may take the 19-22 year olds more than 3 years to get acclimated? I tend to agree that the 2nd year is tough but some of the special players don’t need adjustment periods of as long.

          • Tony_H

            Those are the guys that get labeled special :)

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

          I agree with you. Except for outliers like Trout and Harper. Even many ROY winners struggle in year two.

          Of course then you have the Nelson Cruz’s who come alive at age 28. Guess no two guys are really alike.

          Also Rizzo didn’t come up until late June his rookie year.

          I think Baez is a guy that could excel from day one.

          • Tony_H

            Age wise, age 27 is the season to watch.

            Hopefully we end up with a few guys who we don’t see a down season in year 2.

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

            I could see Baez and Almea being that type. Almoravid just strikes me as the natural. Like the guy was born to play baseball.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Nelson Cruz came alive with a double dose of his medication. That’s what juiced him.

            Coughlan: ROY who shouldn’t make the ChiCubs out of ST.

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

            You got that right Rip. Wonder how many others trajectory was helped like that?

            Remember Fernando Tatis? Man he was the most blatant juiced career I saw. Little tiny dude that shows up one year and looks like a different player! I guess nothing Bonds didn’t pull but still. To me Tatis was always the poster boy for before and after the sauce.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Yes, I remember Mr. Tatis.

            : )

            I cannot wait until the Cubs trim their roster down to 25. Let’s get this season on the road!

          • Tony_H

            I can’t wait until teams put their players on the DL already.

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

    Rizzo 3rd hit of the day against the lefty!

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

    Olt just looked pretty bad in that last at bat.

  • bpot92

    As much as the Cubs have lost in the last two years and probably this year as well, its encouraging to see the improvements our young players have taken. Rizzo looks a little better against lefties and guys are getting better at bats more often than I’ve seen in recent years.

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

      Totally. That’s why I don’t understand the idea that they’ll be worse this year than last. One year older for a lot of young players. Plus some solid additions, especially in the bullpen. Decent starting rotation, with Arietta as sort of a wild card when he returns. Don’t forget, he’ll be our #5 and last year he was the Orioles opening day starter.

      Add the arrivals of Ruggiano and Kalish, plus Olt who I think will do well and we should be much improved. New manager who seems to finally, just possibly, be the right guy for the job. Plenty to be excited about.

  • Tony_H

    Rick Sutcliffe ‏@Sut_ESPN 9m
    In just 3 weeks I have become a Big Rick Renteria fan #Cubs

  • Tony_H

    Bruce Levine ‏@MLBBruceLevine 19m
    Castro done – 2 for 5 two doubles and a walk in 6 at bats

  • Tony_H

    Jesse Rogers has been doing some really good work this spring.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/22200/more-mature-baez-takes-demotion-in-stride

    “It was better than last year,” Baez said of spring training. “Hopefully next year I’ll be here and stay here.”

    “Whether Baez is ready for the big leagues is a moot point. With his potential, the Cubs can keep him longer and potentially save a lot of money if he doesn’t start the season with them. By waiting to call him up until July, the club can avoid an early arbitration date for him. Baez is learning those aspects of the game, as well.”

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

    Same old EJax. Thrown some pitches that are just wicked. Few guys have his stuff. But consistency always rears its head against him. He will benefit from improved defense if that ever happens.

    • Tony_H

      Same old story, one bad inning.

    • Ripsnorter1

      It was a great sign at a great price.

      How do I know?
      Theo did it.

      What do you think? 8-18 again?

      • Tony_H

        Give it a rest Rip. We all know it was an overpay, as all FA signings have to be and Theo has said it was a mistake, a reaction to losing out on Sanchez, who they must have really thought they were going to sign.

        We all need to hope that EJAX bounces back this year.

        • Ripsnorter1

          You mean you plan to scoop up a DL player and hide him on your fantasy DL?

          • Tony_H

            No, I have players who are starting the year on the DL and I want to be able to DL them to get healthy players.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Puig: 0 for 5 with 3 K’s today.

            Nice start to my fantasy season.

            If I had any sense, I’d bench him now because he looks absolutely awful. Kinda like Edwin Jackson. blah blah blah.

          • Tony_H

            In the CCO league, both Machado and Marshall will be starting the year on the DL.

          • Ripsnorter1

            We do not have unlimited DL space, do we?

            And we are limited to 50 transactions per year? Even Theo cannot abide by that rule.
            It is cruel!

          • Tony_H

            2 DL spots and yes 50 moves. If we were in a keeper league 50 moves would never work, as teams would do just what Theo has been doing and trade off vets for younger players.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I move a guy off the bench to the lineup and it costs me 2 moves. You are down 8 moves already, and with the DL moves coming, you’ll be down 10 and the season has just started.

            Bad, bad.

          • Tony_H

            LIneup moves and moves to the DL don’t count.

            Adding a player from FA is what counts.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Look at this page and say that again. I got dinged for two moves putting Quentin in the lineup.

            http://games.espn.go.com/flb/tools/transactioncounter?leagueId=2887

            I have not acquired or waived anyone thus far.

          • Tony_H

            The 50 is for acquistions column only.

            The page you are looking at is if we were charging for every type of move.

            Here it is.

            “FA/Waiver Acquisition Limit
            Set the number of total player acquisitions (through free agency and waivers) each team is allowed over the course of the entire season. Most leagues will select ‘No Limit’, where teams have no restrictions on adding players. If ‘None Allowed’ is selected, only League Managers can add players to teams. This setting can be changed at any time during the season.”

          • Ripsnorter1

            Thanks. I thought I was in trouble already, and all I did was move Quentin into the lineup. : )

          • Tony_H

            Your team is in trouble, but not because of Quentin :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Man, I’ve got probably the best 8 position players in the league. The starting staff is pretty good. It’s the closer I missed out on.

          • Tony_H

            That’s why we play the games!

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

        I predict about .500. He’s the ultimate 500 pitcher. Team will be better so it will bail him out. And he will have 3 or 4 excellent starts where he dominates. The others will be middling at best and he will eat a ton of innings.

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

    Gotta say, Cubs Park looks beautiful. Nicer than some MLB parks.

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

      Turned on the game and came online to
      CCO kind of late today. Been a bit preoccupied looking for news on Russell Westbrook’s knee.

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

        MRI shows he’s fine! Whew.

        Not that anyone cares here, especially after the Bulls game the other night. But man here in OKC we are riding high with the Thunder.

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

    Fergie looks great! A little bling in the ears, gotta love it.

  • Tony_H

    OK, Schierholtz just looked exactly like the Reds RF on that fly ball that hit off the wall. I am thinking the sun must be causing some of that, as at Wrigley, the upper deck blocks the sun, where in Mesa it doesn’t.

  • Tony_H

    Nice solid single for Shawon Dunston Jr, after 2 somewhat wild hacks.

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

    I have a comp I’m curious what you guys think of. It popped into my head that Kris Bryant reminded me somewhat of Jason Werth. Anyone else see similarities? I hope he ends up a better player but even if he just become Jason Werth, that’s a quality starter on a World Series team.

    • Tony_H

      He has been compared to Troy Glaus as a 3B and Jayson Werth in RF. I think his ceiling is higher than both though.

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

        Ol’ Santa Glaus! That’s a pretty good one too. I really don’t know where my Werth comp came from it just popped into my mind.

        I’d like to see the Cubs get long term deals done with more of these young guys. We’ve got Rizzo and Castro wrapped up. Let’s get Baez, Bryant and Almora done. I’m sure we’re a few years away from those deals but I’d like to see it. More of that 90′s Indians philosophy of signing young relatively unproven players to long term deals. It paid off for them, even though they never won a title. They were the dominant team in the league at least two of those years.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 8-3 to the Reds on Saturday in the Cactus League … Edwin Jackson: 4R, 8H, 1BB, 7K in 5IP

    Rizzo: 3-3, 2B, 2RBI; Barney: 0-1, 2BB,
    2R; Olt: 0-2, BB; Schierholtz: 0-2, BB, SF RBI