Talkin’ Cubs Live – The Split Squads – 03/17/14

Spring Training Game Twenty: Cubs (ss) (9-10) vs. Angels (ss) (8-9)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: Cubs.com
  • Location – Cubs Park, Mesa

Edwin Jackson (0-2, 7.20, 1.40) vs. Joe Blanton (1-1, 7.59, 1.31)

Spring Training Game Twenty-One: Cubs (ss) (9-10) vs. Athletics (8-9)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Cubs.com, MLB.com
  • Location – Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix

James McDonald (0-0, 12.71, 2.47) vs. Scott Kazmir (0-0, 0.00, 0.57)

The Cubs return to the valley today for the last of three straight split squad days. Half of the Cubs roster will host half of the Angels’ roster at Cubs Park while the other half will make the short trip to Phoenix to take on the A’s.

This afternoon the Cubs have two pitchers in need of good outings. Edwin Jackson hasn’t exactly quieted his critics this spring. And while numbers are not important in the Cactus League, Jackson could use a good outing today. In Phoenix, James McDonald is pitching to stay in the mix for the fifth spot in the Cubs’ rotation. Maybe McDonald will put his last outing behind him this afternoon and in the process pick-up his first strikeout of the spring.

Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies will have the call on Comcast SportsNet while Mick Gillispie has the radio broadcast on Cubs.com. Wayne Randazzo, the Cougars’ play-by-play man, is in Arizona and will be in Phoenix Municipal Stadium this afternoon. Randazzo will provide Gillispie with updates on the Cubs and A’s game.

The third straight split squad day all begins with Edwin Jackson and James McDonald

Spring Training Game Twenty: Cubs (ss) (9-10) vs. Angels (ss) (8-9)

Edwin Jackson makes his third Cactus League start this afternoon. Jackson pitched in a minor league game last Wednesday and threw 74 pitches over five innings. Jackson allowed two unearned runs on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

Jackson has struggled in Cactus League action and while it is just Spring Training, Jackson could use a good outing this afternoon. Jackson has allowed four runs on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts in five innings (two starts) in the Cactus League.

Joe Blanton moved to the third base side of the pitching rubber in his last spring outing and the result was five innings of one-hit ball against the Rangers. Blanton makes his fourth appearance, third start, of the spring this afternoon. Blanton has allowed nine runs on 12 hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings.

Hector Santiago is starting the Angels other game this afternoon against the Giants in Tempe.

Spring Training Game Twenty-One: Cubs (ss) (9-10) vs. Athletics (8-9)

James McDonald has been effective in one of his three appearances in the Cactus League and, like Edwin Jackson, he is in need of a good outing this afternoon. McDonald struggled with his command in his last start in Peoria against the Mariners. McDonald could not throw strikes and lasted just 2 2/3 innings. McDonald allowed two runs on two hits with five walks and no strikeouts. McDonald hit a batter and threw 64 pitches, 26 for strikes.

In three appearances, two starts, in the Cactus League, James McDonald has allowed eight runs on six hits with eight walks and no strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Scott Kazmir has been very good so far this spring. Kazmir makes his third start today after allowing no runs on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts in seven innings (two starts). Kazmir will begin the season in the A’s rotation after resurrecting his career last season with the Indians.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup against the Angels:

    Bonifacio SS
    Roberts 2B
    Rizzo 1B
    Ruggiano CF
    Schierholtz RF
    Castillo C
    Sweeney DH
    McDonald LF
    Valbuena 3B

    Jackson P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup against the A’s:

    Lake CF
    Barney SS
    Kalish RF
    Valaika 1B
    Baez 2B
    Villanueva 3B
    Vitters DH
    Jackson LF
    Whiteside C

    McDonald P

    • cubtex

      I think I read where Levine said that BJax has played himself in contention for the 5th outfield spot. That would shock me. Have you heard that Neil? I would imagine the 5th outfield spot is between Coghlan and Kalish with BJax going to play everyday in the minors to start the year.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I have not heard or read that about Jackson.

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

          I think there could be room for Kalish and BJax, at least at some point. I like the younger guys better than some of the Donnie Murphy’s of the world. Although I realize he is a different position.

          If it comes downto Kalish and BJax it has to be Kalish. I know he hasn’t been in the Cubs system like BJax so some prefer BJax. But Kalish has made thigs happen. He is a spark plug and he does it even when he isn’t hitting that well. He reminds me of a pitcher who can get outs and win games even when he doesn’t have his best stuff. I expect Kalish’s bat will show up soon but in the meantime he has created runs and preoccupies the mind of a pitcher without having to hit well. He’s a guy that will have a huge OBP and he’s a demon on te base path. Just a smart player, a gamer.

          • cubtex

            Like we talked about. I would like to see Schierholtz or Sweeney moved and see Kalish take one of those spots. Let’s see someone different out there.

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

            Agreed. But don’t give away Schierholtz, he has value. And we probably win more games with him but actually I think overall Kalish may be more valuable right now. Sweeney could end up with value to a contender too. Had he not gotten injured last year he would have garnered interest. If he can get that form back he could to in at least a Hairstonesque deal.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Kazmir has been scratched with triceps stiffness

  • cubtex

    Jarrod Parker is the next pitcher to go down. TJ surgery now for the 2nd time.

    • TheWrongGuy

      Yeah that is sad for the Indiana kid.
      He was on my fantasy team, I had to drop him.

      Also of note this is his second TJ surgery.

      • Tony_H

        I thought about Panda in our fantasy league, but I am going to wait it out and see if Machado makes it for Opening Day.
        I dont’ see a fit between us right now on a trade.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Jackson worked out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning without allowing any runs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    James McDonald has left the game in Phoenix after two pitches. Second pitch sailed to the backstop

    • cubtex

      and that leaves Villanueva or Rusin. Got to imagine Villanueva will get the 2 starts until Arrieta is ready.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Villanueva starting would benefit the Cubs long term as I’ve written. Would make him more valuable as a trade chip.

        • cubtex

          agreed and it is a way to get Cabrera on the 25 man roster. I know Tom does not like him but I think it is worth at least giving him an opportunity.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I see Grimm making the roster before Cabrera. Rusin and/or Grimm will probably round out the pitching staff.

          • cubtex

            I do too. Grimm makes it but I would take Cabrera over Rondon and start Rusin in AAA in the rotation. They already have 2 lefties with Wright and Russell.

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

            Grimm has surprised me this spring. I always viewed him as a throw in but he’s proving valuable on his own merit.

          • cubtex

            He made several starts for the Rangers last year. I would have liked to see him at least tried as a starter for another year. He throws hard.

          • Tony_H

            Not one player is looking like a throw in in that deal.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yes but there will be a potential need for an extra SP in April. I have liked Rondon, Sveum didn’t use him coming out of ST last year when he was pitching lights out in ST last year. Cabrera we will probably lose in waivers as he is on his last chance to break with the Big league team.

          • cubtex

            I think they are going to keep Cabrera due to the fact that he has been closing games and has 3 saves this spring. Why would you do that if you plan on designating him for assignment?

          • TheWrongGuy

            If you look at the roster, it is mostly set. Cabrera might be the odd man out.

          • cubtex

            In your scenario with the roster set….is that with Rusin on the team? I don’t think Rusin makes it if Villanueva is the 5th starter

          • TheWrongGuy

            Rotation:
            1)Shark
            2)T.Wood
            3)J.Hammel
            4)EJAX
            5)C.Villanueva/*Grimm/*Rusin

            Pen:
            Veras
            Rondon
            Russell
            Wright
            Strop
            *B. Parker/*Vizcaino/*Cabrera

            * = bubble players for the pitching staff.
            I think I pick Grimm and Rusin. Although “if” Arrietta is coming back in time when the extra pitching arm is needed then that will change this. Personally I don’t see Cabrera making it.

          • cubtex

            I don’t see how you can put Rondon in there as a sure thing. He has not had a good spring. 4.77 ERA last year with a 1.4 WHIP. If he has an option left(not sure if he does) I would say he is definitely not a lock.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Either Parker or Rondon “are” probably making the roster. Rondon had 1 bad outing where he allowed 4-5 runs in 1 inning. He has been good otherwise this spring.

          • Tony_H

            I could see both of them in Iowa to start the year.

          • cubtex

            does Rondon have an option left?

          • Tony_H

            He does have a 4th option, but can refuse the assignment.

          • cubtex

            not nearly as high on Rondon as you. I would take Grimm and Parker over Rondon.

          • Tony_H

            Bullpen

            Veras, Strop, Russell, Wright, Villaneuva are for sure.

            2 spots left for Grimm, Cabrera, Rondon, Parker, Vizcaino. I believe Vizcaino will go to Iowa to control his innings more to start the year. I think Cabrera gets a spot because he is out of options and that Grimm is who they like the best of the rest.

            If Villanueva gets the 5th spot to start, then it opens a spot up for Parker. Rondon, I feel is going to Iowa.

          • cubtex

            wow. I agree with that scenario.

          • Tony_H

            About time you started to get it :)

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

            And I with u Ray. Why not Grimm for the 5?

          • Tony_H

            Grimm is pretty much being considered a reliever right now. They are not stretching him out at all. 4 games – 4 IP.

          • Richard Hood

            That is because of the idea he has a spot to loose. I really expect if it is bad news on McDonald then Grimm’s innings will start to increase.

            Disclaimer* I loved this kid with Texas….

            Disclaimer 2: I spent half my life in Corpus Christi and am a Rangers fan as well.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I know Cabrera is out of options and I hope we can keep him a CUBS uniform. But he has never “consistently” performed above AA level. I like his stuff but he has problems repeating his deliver which causes problems with his release point on MANY pitches leaving the ball up in the zone and he gets “hammered”. He does this every time I have seen him pitch. Again I hope he stays a Cub and can figure everything out.

          • Tony_H

            I agree with all that, but Rondon and Parker have options and Cabrera does not. He would be claimed if they tried to send him to Iowa. So they are going to let him have a shot, while not losing a player.

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

            Agreed Ray. The Cabrera situation could settle that 5th spot if all else is very equal.

          • Richard Hood

            I would LOVE that.

      • Tony_H

        Actually when Bosio was asked about the 5th spot just now on the game on CSN, he didn’t mention Villanueva, it was Len who brought him up (And Bosio loves Villanueva). He said Rusin first, then brought up Hendricks, Jokisch and McDonald. Just by the way he was talking, I would say Rusin was his choice.

        • cubtex

          If it is only 2 or 3 weeks and how well Villanueva performed last April, I would be surprised if it wasn’t him.

          • Tony_H

            I would go with him, as it opens up a spot in the bullpen, unless they wanted to give Hendricks a few starts to give him a taste of the majors. Hendricks has to be added to the 40 man roster after this season anyway.

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

            And increases his value.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Preliminary report from Cubs: James McDonald left the game with right shoulder soreness.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Bonifacio with a RBI triple, Roberts a RBI double and Rizzo a RBI single with two outs in Mesa. Cubs up 3-0 against the Angels.

  • Tony_H

    I’ve always like Bonifacio and see him playing almost everyday somwhere. Against lefties he will be the 3rd RH OF and against righties he will play 2B and be the 3rd LH OF. Not sure they will even have a 5th OF and use the spot to maybe keep an 8th bullpen arm. Versatile players like Bonifacio are worth a lot.

    • TheWrongGuy

      Very true Tony.
      I see him making the roster easily.

      • Tony_H

        When Bosio was talking, Bonifacio tripled and he said, it’s going to be fun to watch him everyday.

        • TheWrongGuy

          *prays*
          I hope that means LESS Barney”fife” at second.

          • Tony_H

            Barney’s days are numbered. He is going to be outplayed by Bonifacio and has Baez and Alcantara going to push him from AAA. If Olt does end up starting at 3B, Valbuena will push him for starts against RH’s as well.

            Also, I have been saying Alcantara wrong from the first time I have seen his name, it is pronounced Alcantra without the 3rd A. Great to have games back on TV.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Olt has a “fatigued shoulder” he will start at AAA. Yes I know Barney’s days are numbered. I just wish it before the season starts. :)

          • Tony_H

            That is not going to make him start in Iowa. He has been throwing from 3rd in practice and working on everything a lot throughout ST and just needed a day off and with tomorrow’s game a night game it was good timing.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I hope your right :)

          • Tony_H

            He may very well end up in Iowa (I don’t think he will), but I think his D at 3B will not be the reason.

            Sometimes a day or two off from throwing can do wonders for an arm.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Veras with a 1-2-3 inning

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs (ss) lost 6-2 to A’s on Monday (3/17) in Phoenix: Ryan Kalish: 2-3; Javier Baez: 1-3; Jonathan Mota: 1-1, HR, 2RBI

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

      Mark it down. I’m adding Kalish to my prediction about Ruggiano. If both are healthy I predict really good years from them. Waaaay better than anyone expected 2 months ago.

      • Richard Hood

        Kalish had talent no one ever doubted that. It was also rumored he had the same genetic disorder that Rocco Baldelli has. No one ever came out and said it just that they they were concerned.

        Kalish if he makes the club needs to be around all season. I just do not know yet that it is possible.

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

          He does. And I hope he can. I think he will have a great, not good season. I belive he will arrive and if he qualifies he could have a ROY type season.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs (ss) beat Angels (ss) 4-2 on Monday (3/17) in Mesa … Edwin Jackson: 0R, 3H, 1BB, 6K, 4IP

    Bonifacio: 1-3, 3B, RBI, BB; Rizzo: 1-4, RBI;
    Roberts: 1-3, 2B, RBI; McDonald: 2-2, 2B, RBI, R, BB

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Ejax ironically showing us how Shark needs to pitch to net us a good prospect haul…