Talkin’ Cubs Live – The Split Squads – 03/15/14

Spring Training Game Sixteen: Cubs (ss) (7-8) vs. Royals (7-7)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: None – Radio: 720 WGN
  • Location – Surprise Stadium, Surprise

Jeff Samardzija (0-0, 5.00, 1.44) vs. James Shields (2-0, 1.04, 0.69)

Spring Training Game Seventeen: Cubs (ss) (7-8) vs. Mets (ss) (6-7)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN-TV – Radio: MLB.com
  • Location – Cashman Field, Las Vegas

Tsuyoshi Wada (0-0, 7.36, 2.18) vs. Bartolo Colon (0-1, 6.75, 1.50)

The long weekend of Cubs baseball begins with a pair of games this afternoon. One Cubs’ team will stay in the Phoenix area to take on the Royals while another Cubs’ team will play the first of two exhibition games against the Mets at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.

The Cubs annual trip to Sin City, the tenth straight spring the Cubs have participated in Big League Weekend, will mark the first time the organization has squared off against a team from the Grapefruit League in Las Vegas. Cashman Field is the home of the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets.

The other half of the Mets’ roster hosts the Twins in Port St. Lucie this afternoon.

Javier Baez and Kris Bryant made the trip from Mesa to Vegas for the weekend. And Baez is in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game.

Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer will call the action on 720 WGN from Surprise. And Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies have the call on WGN-TV from Las Vegas.

This afternoon’s games begin with Jeff Samardzija and Tsuyoshi Wada

Spring Training Game Sixteen: Cubs (ss) (7-8) vs. Royals (7-7)

Jeff Samardzija makes his fourth start of the spring this afternoon as he prepares for Opening Day. Samardzija has pitched to mixed results this spring but he has remained consistent that he feels good as he is getting his work in. Samardzija was solid in his first spring outing against the Diamondbacks. Samardzija gave up three runs on four hits and a walk to the Rockies in his second start. In his last outing, Samardzija kept up with Matt Cain over the first three innings before the Giants scored two runs on three hits in the fourth inning. Samardzija ended up surrendering two runs on five hits to the Giants with no walks and five strikeouts. This spring, Samardzija has allowed five runs on 11 hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in three starts (nine innings). Five innings should be the target for Samardzija this afternoon.

Wesley Wright, Pedro Strop and Chang-Yong Lim are also scheduled to pitch this afternoon.

Rick Renteria will use the following starting nine behind Samardzija:

  1. Junior Lake – CF
  2. Ryan Roberts – 2B
  3. Welington Castillo – C
  4. Justin Ruggiano – LF
  5. Mike Olt – 1B
  6. Chris Valaika – SS
  7. Josh Vitters – DH
  8. Brett Jackson – RF
  9. Christian Villanueva – 3B

Big Game James has been excellent so far this spring. James Shields makes his fourth Cactus League start this afternoon after allowing two runs, one earned, with six hits, no walks and eight strikeouts over his first three starts (8 2/3 innings). Like Samardzija, Shields is preparing for Opening Day as well as what could be a very profitable off-season if the Royals do not extend Shields before the season begins.

Tim Collins, Jon Rauch, Donnie Joseph and former Cubs’ minor league reliever Corey Wade are also scheduled to pitch this afternoon.

Spring Training Game Seventeen: Cubs (ss) (7-8) vs. Mets (ss) (6-7)

Chris Rusin was originally slated to start this afternoon’s game in Vegas then it was Carlos Pimentel. The Cubs made a pitching change late Friday and decided to have Tsuyoshi Wada start the first of two games against the Mets. Rusin is scheduled to pitch Sunday’s game against the Mets.

CubsMetsBigLeagueWeekendTsuyoshi Wada makes his first spring start this afternoon. Wada was very good for an inning Wednesday night in Peoria, then not-so-good in his second inning. Wada has allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts in two games this spring (3 2/3 innings).

Cubs starting lineup vs. the Mets

  1. Darwin Barney – 2B
  2. Donnie Murphy – 3B
  3. Nate Schierholtz – DH
  4. Anthony Rizzo – 1B
  5. Ryan Sweeney – RF
  6. Javier Baez – SS
  7. Darnell McDonald – LF
  8. Eli Whiteside – C
  9. Matt Szczur – CF

The other players in Vegas for the weekend include: George Kottaras, Rafael Lopez, Dan Vogelbach, Chris Coghlan, Ryan Kalish, Arismendy Alcantara, Walter Ibarra, Zeke DeVoss, Chadd Krist, Kris Bryant, Jonathan Mota, John Andreoli, Anthony Giansanti, Carlos Pimentel, Zac Rosscup, Justin Grimm and Blake Parker.

The Mets surprised the baseball world when the team inked Bartolo Colon to a two-year, $20 million contract over the winter. Colon has made just one start in the Grapefruit League and allowed three runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout in four innings.

David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, Curtis Granderson, Eric Young Jr., and Bobby Parnell are among the players making the trip to Las Vegas this weekend. Terry Collins will accompany his team as well.

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