Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. White Sox – 03/21/14

Spring Training Game Twenty-Five: Cubs (10-14) vs. White Sox (7-10)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network, MLB.TV – Radio:
  • Location – Camelback Ranch, Glendale

Chris Rusin (2-2, 5.40, 1.03) vs. John Danks (0-0, 2.08, 1.54)

The Cubs will spend their last Friday in the Cactus League taking on the White Sox for the first time this year. The Cubs and Sox wrap up Spring Training next Thursday at Cubs Park then play four games against one another in May (May 5-6 at Wrigley Field, May 7-8 at the Cell).

Chris Rusin is pitching today to stay in the mix for the fifth spot in the Cubs’ rotation. Unless there are changes to the roster, the last spot in the rotation is down to Rusin and Carlos Villanueva. If Rusin does not make the rotation he will begin the season with the Iowa Cubs while Villanueva will go to the pen and serve as the team’s swingman until he is traded.

Mike Olt will be the Cubs’ designated hitter today and is scheduled to play third base again on Saturday when the Cubs face the Reds at Cubs Park. Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo are in the starting lineup for today’s game.

Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie have the call of today’s game on The White Sox telecast can be seen on Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network or MLB.TV.

This afternoon all starts with Chris Rusin …

Chris Rusin is coming off an excellent outing. Rusin held the Mets scoreless for four innings last weekend in Las Vegas. Rusin gave up just one hit and struck out two batters. Rusin makes his third Cactus League start today and fifth appearance of the spring. Rusin has allowed seven runs on nine hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings.

While Rusin is taking on the White Sox, Travis Wood will get his work in facing minor leaguers today. Wood will face the Diamondbacks Triple-A roster.

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

  1. Emilio Bonifacio – 2B
  2. Junior Lake – CF
  3. Anthony Rizzo – 1B
  4. Mike Olt – DH
  5. Justin Ruggiano – LF
  6. Javier Baez – SS
  7. Ryan Kalish – RF
  8. Luis Valbuena – 3B
  9. John Baker – C

George Kottaras, Chris Coghlan, Eli Whiteside, Chris Valaika and Darnell McDonald are on the travel roster. Wesley Wright, Jonathan Sanchez, Zac Rosscup, Alberto Cabrera and Brian Schlitter are scheduled to make the trip as well and be available out of the bullpen.

John Danks is healthy and is throwing the ball extremely well this spring. Danks has earned the third spot in the White Sox’s rotation. Danks makes his fourth Cactus League start today. In his first three outings, Danks has allowed three runs on 12 hits with eight walks and six strikeouts in 13 innings.

Matt Lindstrom is expected to make his spring debut this afternoon. Lindstrom has faced the Cubs 24 times in his career and has yet to allow or be charged with an earned run (no runs, 21 hits in 24 innings with four walks and 19 strikeouts, 0.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP).

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

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  • Neil

    Today’s lineup, just in case you missed it

    Bonifacio 2B
    Lake CF
    Rizzo 1B
    Olt DH
    Ruggiano LF
    Baez SS
    Kalish RF
    Valbuena 3B
    Baker C

    Rusin P

  • Neil

    Angels announce acquisition of LHP Jose Alvarez from Tigers for IF Andrew Romine. Tigers GM Dombrowski told reporters that LHH Romine will share short with Worth or Perez.

  • cubtex

    For those college baseball fans… a great pitching and team matchup is being broadcast tonight on ESNP 3 at 6:30pm CT. Vanderbilt at Miss State. Tyler Beede 4-1 0.84 ERA vs Preston Brown 2-0 0.75 ERA. Should be good!

    • mutantbeast

      TY Tex-great chance to see Beede, whom Id like to see available when the Cubs draft next year.

      • Theboardrider

        Good info. Thanks Ray

  • Neil

    Kalish with a 2-out RBI single and Valbuena with a 3R HR

    • Tony_H

      I’m liking Kalish more every time I see him play.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Valbuena looks like a keeper, too!

        • Tony_H

          LOL! Not gonna help you when Olt is named the starting 3B.

          • paulcatanese

            He isn’t ?

          • Tony_H

            He hasn’t been named the starter. My bet is they won’t make a decision until mid next week.

          • Bredstik

            Valbuena with another HR. I don’t think he’s ready to be pushed off of 3B just yet.

          • Eugene Debs

            Valbuena will get plenty of opportunities when the Cubs finally get rid of Darwin Barney.

      • Theboardrider

        I’m telling you I think the guy is special. My best friend is an insanely fanatical Red Sox fan and he adores Kalish. He says all the time he would have loved to have seen him roaming Fenway. Right now he says the Red Sox have 5 potential star outfielders all pushing for time and he just became disposable because he couldn’t stay healthy. But in his opinion he had the most potential and talent of all of them.

        • Tony_H

          I didn’t know you that you thought highly of him :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Speaking of All-Stars…Kevin Gregg. Nobody wants him after a 34 save season?

          • Tony_H

            Maybe they watched the tape?

  • Tony_H

    I hope Baez just stepped funny and didn’t pull anything.

  • Craig York

    Baez just left with an injury……

  • Neil

    Rusin with a very good outing

    • Tony_H

      I can see him going north as the 5th starter. More upside in Rusin as a starter than a guy like Cabrera as a reliever.

  • Tony_H

    Valbuena with a 2nd bomb today.

    • Neil

      His third in three games.

  • Neil

    Javier Baez left the game with a right heel contusion (bruise).

    • paulcatanese

      Saw it, probably more commonly known as a
      “bone bruise”, lingering pain, but a shoe can be built around the heel, lifting the arch to relieve pressure off the heel, had one.

  • Neil

    Sun-Times reporting unless something weird develops, Baez could be on the field tomorrow.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    My colleague claiming kerry wood just boarded our plane…flight in phoenix back to chicago.

    Crazy thing is I am in first class and he isnt. If I was a 6’6″ millioniare I would not be in coach….so need to confirm this sighting.

  • Neil

    Cubs beat the White Sox 7-0 on Friday afternoon … Chris Rusin: 0R, 2H, 0BB, 3K, 5IP

    Valbuena: 2-3, 2 HR, 4RBI; Kalish: 1-4, RBI, R; Olt:
    2-4, 2B, BB, R; Lake: 2-4, 2B, RBI, BB; Baez: 1-3

    • Theboardrider

      Nice game up and down the lineup! Hits for Olt, Lake and Kalish once again. That’s a good trio of youngsters.

      • Ripsnorter1

        This game shows that Valbuena is the man! He’s a keeper! Move Barney to the bench, and Valbuena hits 20 dingers for the ChiCubs!

        • Bredstik


          • Ripsnorter1

            Valbuena is a better offensive player than Mr. Barney, by all measures. I’d bench Mr. Barney, and play Mr. Valbuena and Mr. Murphy at 2B.

            Furthermore, I expect Valbuena to have his career year this year, and that includes, (gulp!) a 20 dinger season if he gets the chance to play.

            Also, Boardrider is a great guy, but, imo, is overly enthusiastic about Lake, Kalish and Olt.

            We shall see who is right in a few weeks or months.

          • Theboardrider

            I like Valbuena’s bat better than Barney’s as well.

            You wait and see on my boy Kalish. If they play him everyday he’ll be our best player.

          • triple

            I’ve felt for the last 2 years already that Valbuena is the type of guy who works hard and plays the game the right way, and he usually grinds out good at bats (evidenced by his increasing walk totals and OBP). And when guys like him last long enough in this league and get enough AB’s and learn the tendencies of many opposing pitchers, they turn into better than average regulars.

            Just look how Yadier Molina really came into his own in 2011 when he turned 28… Valbuena is about to begin his age 28 season. I really hope that he gets enough playing time to still be effective and grow offensively. I think most of us know he has a good glove.

            If the Cubs play their cards right, he’s gonna be valuable either just as a IF sub at 3b, SS, and 2b, or perhaps he ends up being the extra cheap trade piece thrown in that helps net us a the kind of pitcher we desire.

          • Richard Hood

            While I agree that the potential is there to hit 20. I think last year showed what over exposure can do to a guy like this. He batted .165 the second half last year.

        • Tony_H

          See how fast your own perspective can change when you have a fantasy team :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Incredibly, I drafted him…over Olt as well!

            Boardrider is probably screaming at his computer screen as he reads this. LOL

            Doesn’t matter. If he gets the 400 AB, I see the 20 taters for his career year in 2014.

          • Tony_H

            I think he could hit 20 HR’s, but he will never get the chance. If Olt takes 3B, Barney will be at 2B to start the year (unless somehow he is traded). Bonifacio will get some of the starts against RH’s and Valbuena will be a utility guy.

          • Theboardrider

            That is maddening. Bonifacio should start over Barney all day and during a double header on Sunday! He’s a legitimate lead off hitter.

            But I agree with Rip that Valbuena could hit 20 bombs. He’s a decent little player. Not a world beater but the guy belongs in the MLB.

          • Tony_H

            He will also get starts in the OF. I expect Bonifacio to start 4-5 times per week and if he performs, almost every day some where.