Game Twenty-Six: Cubs 0 Diamondbacks 6
Roster Moves and a Scott Williamson Update, Plus News and an Update on Mark Prior from Mesa
The Cubs only managed 4 hits against the Diamondbacks on Sunday, a double by Barrett, and singles by Mabry, Ramirez and Ronny Cedeno. The Diamondbacks defense made the Cubs offense look scarce on Sunday. According to Shaun (he is in Mesa and was at the game today) the Cubs hit the ball harder than the box score indicates. Eric Byrnes made several great defensive plays to rob the Cubs of hits, especially one by Ronny Cedeno. The Cubs will have days like Sunday where the ball just does not bounce their way. This is what a solid defense will give a team.
Jae Kuk Ryu made his first start of the spring and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits in 3 innings of work. Ryu has good mechanics and was hitting his spots on Sunday. During the regular season one would hope the Cubs will give their starting pitcher a little more than they did on Sunday…. Ryu has been mentioned as a possibility to make the club as a long reliever and with the state the pitching staff is in, that might not be a bad idea. Bobby Howry had another strong outing only allowing one hit and Scott Eyre did the same one hit in an inning of work. Eyre has yet to allow a run, either earned or unearned, all spring. The rest of the bullpen did not fair as well.
Michael Wuertz continued his struggles on Sunday and Ron Santo summed it up perfectly. Wuertz is having control problems. Wuertz pitched well last year for the Cubs, but he his having trouble repeating his performance. On Sunday Wuertz faced 5 batters in an inning of work. After he retired the first two men he faced, Wuertz gave up a solo home run to Orlando Hudson and then walked the next batter he faced….his ERA for the spring now stands at 17.05. Todd Wellemeyer performed the same he has all spring. He allowed 2 runs on 2 hits in an inning of work. Will Ohman did better and retired the only two batters he faced and then there was Ryan Dempster. Dempster pitched an 1 1/3, gave up a run on 2 hits and struck out 3. Dempster was behind in the count on just about ever batter he faced and walked one of them. Dempster has never had the greatest control, but last season he thrived in the closers spot. With Williamson’s injury on Sunday let’s hope the 2005 version of Ryan Dempster makes an appearance soon.
Scott Williamson left the game after facing only one batter in the top of the 6th. Ron Santo and Pat Hughes immediately said there was something wrong and Larry Rothschild and Mark OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Neal ran to the mound after Williamson hit Connor Jackson. There has not been an official word concerning Williamson’s condition. Santo and Hughes said there probably would not be an announcement until Monday. They fear it is Williamson’s elbow and reminded everyone he has had two Tommy John surgeries. They said Williamson walked off the field with his head down. Update – Cubs.com is reporting that Williamson left the game with a lower back strain and his status is day to day. Pardon the pun….but what a relief. Williamson has been pitching well and with the inconsistencies of Rusch, Williams, Ohman, Wuertz and Wellemeyer, it is good to hear it is not his elbow.
Monday – The Chicago White Sox at HoHoKam, 2:05pm C.S.T., XM Channel 180, WGN Radio and Comcast SportsNet
Greg Maddux vs. Mark Buehrle
The ‘Wrongsiders’ make the trip on Monday to Mesa for the last meeting of the Cubs and Sox until the regular season on May 19th. The Cubs made roster moves on Sunday and should continue to do so for the next couple of days before the team breaks camp on Thursday and heads to Las Vegas for the Big League Weekend. Maddux has been very effective this spring and hopefully he will continue more of the same on Monday.
The Cubs announced on Sunday that Glendon Rusch will pitch on Tuesday against the Mariners in Peoria and Carlos Zambrano will go on Wednesday against the Angels.
The Cubs optioned Felix Pie to Iowa (AAA) and returned Les Walrond and Randy Wells to the Minor League camp. The big league roster now stands at 38.
News and Tidbits from Mesa
According to a report on Cubs.com, Mark Prior will be examined by Dr. Stephen Gryzlo on Monday and could possibly throw a side session. Prior last threw on March 14th and was to be shutdown for 7-10 days. The delay is due to Dr. Gryzlo not being able to get to Arizona to examine Prior.
Derrek Lee could rejoin the Cubs on Monday after having to attend to family business in California.
Could the Cubs have three lefties in the bullpen? We shall find out this week.
Well that’s the news….and I’m sticking to it!!