Talkin’ Cubs Live – The Split Squads – 03/01/14

Spring Training Game Three: Cubs (SS) (0-2) vs. Giants (1-2)

  • Game Time – 2:05pm CST
  • Coverage – TV: None – Radio:
  • Location – Cubs Park, Mesa

Travis Wood (0-0, -.–, -.–) vs. Matt Cain (0-0, -.–, -.–)

Spring Training Game Four: Cubs (SS) (0-2) vs. Diamondbacks (SS) (2-2)

  • Game Time – 8:10pm CST
  • Coverage – TV: None – Radio:
  • Location – Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale

Edwin Jackson (0-0, -.–, -.–) vs. Archie Bradley (0-0, -.–, -.–)

Weather permitting … The Cubs have a day-night split squad doubleheader scheduled for Saturday, the first of six split squad days on the Cubs spring schedule.

The first two exhibition games have not gone as the Cubs would have hoped. After dropping the first game in their new park, Kris Bryant and Darwin Barney provided the lone highlights on Saturday in Tempe. It is only Spring Training and maybe the Cubs can put an exhibition win on the books today.

This afternoon all starts with Travis Wood and tonight begins with Edwin Jackson

Spring Training Game Three: Cubs (SS) (0-2) vs. Giants (1-2)

The Cubs host the Giants this afternoon in the second game at Cubs Park. Rick Renteria should leave Travis Wood in for two innings in his first outing of the spring. Wood was the Cubs most consistent pitcher last year and is looking to build on that success … and not regress like many experts are predicting him to do.

Travis Wood posted a 9-12 record in 32 starts with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Wood took the hill in his final start with an ERA below three, but he struggled against the Cardinals and gave up three runs on four hits in one inning of work. Wood tallied 24 quality starts last season, good for fourth in the majors.

Rick Renteria will start out with the following lineup against Matt Cain and the Giants:

  1. Arismendy Alcantara – 2B
  2. Luis Valbuena – 3B
  3. Anthony Rizzo – 1B
  4. Justin Ruggiano – CF
  5. Welington Castillo – C
  6. Chris Valaika – SS
  7. George Kottaras – DH
  8. Darnell McDonald – LF
  9. Aaron Cunningham – RF

Matt Cain is coming off a bad year but a good second half. Cain finished last season with a 8-10 record in 30 starts with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. But he was 3-4 in 11 starts after the break with a 2.36 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Cain is not starting for the Giants on Opening Day. So while he might not be considered the best starter on the Giants staff right now, it is too early to say the 29-year old right hander has seen his best days on a big league mound.

Spring Training Game Four: Cubs (SS) (0-2) vs. Diamondbacks (SS) (2-2)

Edwin Jackson is coming off a rough year, one that both Jackson and the Cubs would like to put behind them. Jackson posted an 8-18 record in 31 starts with a 4.98 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. The Cubs need for him to have the proverbial bounce back season for more than one reason. His contract makes him a viable option for a contender, but he has to show better results early before another team will show interest in him. Once Jackson finds the consistency that has eluded him throughout his career he might finally be able to meet some of the expectations.

Rick Renteria is expected to run out the following starting lineup against Archie Bradley:

  1. Emilio Bonifacio – 2B
  2. Junior Lake – CF
  3. Starlin Castro – SS
  4. Ryan Roberts – 1B
  5. Kris Bryant – 3B
  6. Jorge Soler – RF
  7. Mike Olt – DH
  8. Chris Coghlan – LF
  9. Eli Whiteside – C

The Cubs will have the pleasure of facing the best pitching prospect in the game in Archie Bradley. The D-Backs top prospect is trying to pitch his way onto Arizona’s Opening Day roster. Bradley is a very good pitcher and his ability matches the hype to this point. The D-Backs see Bradley as a top of the rotation starter for many years and that is the reason Arizona will not include him in any deals … not for Jeff Samardzija or David Price.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

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